Reps. Johnson, Franklin, Tenney and Colleagues Demand Justice Department Investigation into Domestic Terrorist Attacks Against Pro-Life Organizations
Washington, June 16, 2022
WASHINGTON, June 15, 2022 — United States Representatives Mike Johnson (LA-04), Scott Franklin (FL-15), and Claudia Tenney (NY-22) led a letter with more than 120 colleagues demanding the Department of Justice investigate recent attacks against several Pro-Life organizations as instances of domestic terrorism. In the last two months, there have been at least 15 documented terrorist attacks against Pro-Life organizations. These attacks included incidences of vandalism, destruction of property, and even firebombing. In addition to these attacks, police recently arrested a California man for attempting to assassinate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh at his home. Each of these crimes followed the egregious leak of the draft Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Supreme Court opinion and were clearly politically motivated. In response, the cosigners demand the attacks be investigated as instances of domestic terrorism as defined in federal law.
“The Biden Administration has labeled concerned K-12 parents as ‘domestic terrorists,’ while ignoring pro-abortion protestors breaking federal law at SCOTUS justices’ homes, and radical left-wing activists terrorizing pro-life pregnancy centers,” said Rep. Johnson. “Politically motivated violence nationwide against pro-life organizations falls clearly within the jurisdiction of federal law enforcement. If the Biden Administration is actually serious about protecting communities, they will stop ignoring violence that doesn’t suit their agenda and start investigating.”
“Free speech is a critically important constitutional right,” said Rep. Franklin. “However, threats, destruction of property, and acts of violence are against the law. When they are done as a means of intimidation against lawful organizations, or as an attempt to influence the highest Court in our land, they must be identified and investigated for what they truly are—domestic terrorism. In doing so, the Department must make it clear to both the perpetrators and the Democrats who have incited them that this behavior will not be tolerated in our society.”
“Pro-life organizations and religious groups across the country, including in New York, have come under unprecedented attack by far-left activists following the unauthorized leak of a draft Supreme Court decision last month,” said Rep. Tenney. “The Department of Justice needs to step in and make clear that political violence has no place in American society and the law will be enforced. Sitting on the sidelines as Americans come under attack for their deeply held religious beliefs and Supreme Court Justices are targeted and intimidated is an indefensible position for the DOJ to take. I am honored to lead my colleagues in the House of Representatives to call on the Attorney General Garland to put an end to this anarchy now.”
“The surge in violent attacks, firebombing and vandalism of pregnancy care centers, churches and pro-life organizations by pro-abortion activists following the leak of the draft Dobbs opinion is unconscionable and resembles a kind of war on advocates for life,” said Rep. Chris Smith, Co-Chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. “The inaction by President Biden and Attorney General Garland to seriously address this concerning increase in acts of terror is greatly disturbing and constitutes a total abrogation of their duty to protect people and property.”
“It is the job of the government to protect all citizens, even the ones who disagree with prevailing government ideology,” said Jim Harden, president of CompassCare Pregnancy Services, whose office was firebombed in Buffalo. “Pro-life pregnancy centers are being targeted by pro-abortion terrorists because we believe that all people are made in the image of God, deserving of protection, including boys and girls in the womb. Continued silence serves only to embolden further acts of pro-abortion terrorism.”
According to the Department of Homeland Security, further violence and unrest is likely upon the final release of the Dobbs opinion. Swift and fair prosecution of the terrorists who have committed these crimes is crucial to maintaining public safety. While federal law does not include criminal penalties for domestic terrorism, it is defined in U.S. code and the Department has a duty to prosecute these crimes. Many of the victimized facilities were spray painted with slogans clearly indicating the attacks were politically motivated, a key aspect of the definition of terrorism. In one slogan, the pro-abortion terrorist group Jane’s Revenge threatened the lives of pro-life workers at a facility in Madison, Wisconsin, claiming “if abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either.”
In addition to their demands, the cosigners have given the Department of Justice 30 days to respond to the following questions:
1. Is the Department currently investigating the attacks against the aforementioned groups as instances of domestic terrorism? If not, please provide the rationale behind this decision.
2. What is the Department’s plan to prevent similar attacks from occurring against other pro-life organizations and is the Department currently collaborating with state and local law enforcement to ensure further incidents do not occur?
A full copy of the letter’s text can be accessed by clicking here.
Additional cosigners of the letter include:
Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Rep. Tom Emmer (MN-06), Rep. Richard Hudson (NC-08), Rep. Gary Palmer (AL-06), Rep. Drew Ferguson (GA-03), Rep. Jim Banks (IN-03), Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01), Rep. Nancy Mace (SC-01), Rep. Byron Donalds (FL-19), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Rep. Lauren Boebert (CO-03), Rep. Jake LaTurner (KS-02), Rep. Mary Miller (IL-15), Rep. Michael Cloud (TX-27), Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Rep. Bob Good (VA-05), Rep. Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Rep. Andrew Clyde (GA-09), Rep. Matthew Rosendale (MT At-Large), Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-07), Rep. Cliff Bentz (OR-02), Rep. Brian Babin, D.D.S. (TX-36), Rep. Yvette Herrell (NM-02), Rep. Ronny Jackson (TX-13), Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Rep. Randy Weber (TX-14), Rep. Ralph Norman (SC-05), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (NC-11), Rep. Michael Guest (MS-03), Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (IN-08), Rep. Don Bacon (NE-02), Rep. Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH-07), Rep. W. Gregory Steube (FL-17), Rep. Bill Huizenga (MI-02), Rep. Kat Cammack (FL-03), Rep. David McKinley (WV-01), Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS-04), Rep. Diana Harshbarger (TN-01), Rep. Robert Aderholt (AL-04), Rep. John Moolenaar (MI-04), Rep. Brian J. Mast (FL-18), Rep. Thomas Tiffany (WI-07), Rep. Debbie Lesko (AZ-08), Rep. Ken Buck (CO-04), Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC-05), Rep. Paul Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04), Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14), Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13), Rep. Dan Meuser (PA-09), Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), Rep. Lisa McClain (MI-10), Rep. Alex Mooney (WV-02), Rep. Mo Brooks (AL-05), Rep. Mike Bost (IL-12), Rep. Russ Fulcher (ID-01), Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-50), Rep. Trent Kelly (MS-01), Rep. Steve Chabot (OH-01), Rep. Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (MO-04), Rep. John Rose (TN-06), Rep. Eric “Rick” Crawford (AR-01), Rep. Barry Moore (AL-02), Rep. Adrian Smith (NE-03), Rep. Robert Latta (OH-05), Rep. Tracey Mann (KS-01), Rep. William Timmons (SC-04), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Rep. John Rutherford (FL-04), Rep. Jody Hice (GA-10), Rep. Jake Ellzey (TX-06), Rep. Ted Budd (NC-13), Rep. Austin Scott (GA-08), Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), Rep. Barry Loudermilk (GA-11), Rep. Pat Fallon (TX-04), Rep. Ben Cline (VA-06), Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA-15), Rep. Charles J. “Chuck” Fleischmann (TN-03), Rep. Troy Nehls (TX-22), Rep. Michael Waltz (FL-06), Rep. Bruce Westerman (AR-04), Rep. Jack Bergman (MI-01), Rep. Mike Kelly (PA-16), Rep. Kevin Hern (OK-01), Rep. Lance Gooden (TX-05), Rep. Michelle Fischbach (MN-07), Rep. Carol Miller (WV-03), Rep. Billy Long (MO-07), Rep. David Valadao (CA-21), Rep. Julia Letlow (LA-05), Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (WI-05), Rep. Clay Higgins (LA-03), Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14), Rep. Gregory Murphy, M.D. (NC-03), Rep. Victoria Spartz (IN-05), Rep. David Kustoff (TN-08), Rep. Ron Estes (KS-04), Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04), Rep. Bill Posey (R-08), Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC-10), Rep. Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Rep. Vern Buchanan (FL-16), Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-04), Rep. Randy Feenstra (IA-04), Rep. Neal Dunn, M.D. (FL-02), Rep. David Joyce (OH-14), Rep. Daniel Webster (FL-11), Rep. Brett Guthrie (KY-02), Rep. Blake Moore (UT-01), Rep. Tim Burchett (TN-02), Rep. Scott DesJarlais (TN-04), Rep. David Rouzer (NC-07), Rep. Michael Burgess, M.D. (TX-26), Rep. Pete Stauber (MN-08), Rep. Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), Rep. Dan Crenshaw (TX-02), Rep. French Hill (AR-02), Rep. Darin LaHood (IL-18), and Rep. Steve Womack (AR-03).
The letter has also received support from Family Research Council, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, and National Right to Life.
Congressman Johnson is the Vice Chairman of the House Republican Conference, a member of the House Judiciary and Armed Services Committees, and a former constitutional law litigator.