During a passionate exchange before the House Judiciary Committee, Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy confronted the Biden Department of Justice over its treatment of Bucks County pro-life activist Mark Houck and demanded an apology.
Houck and his family were terrified when a team of armed federal agents swarmed his home early on a Saturday morning and arrested him for allegedly violating the Federal Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. It took a Philadelphia jury just a few hours to acquit Houck on all charges. The Biden administration has never explained why it reopened a case abandoned by local prosecutors or why it used such an overwhelming display of force to arrest a father of seven with no criminal record.
While questioning Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke Tuesday, Roy confronted her over the federal government’s treatment of Houck.
“Mark Houck, who was targeted, had a raid of his home, prosecuted under this, was acquitted by a jury,” Roy said. “Have you apologized to him on behalf of the Department of Justice for that grave violation of his civil rights, having his family have to watch him being raided at his home? And then he’s acquitted by a federal jury. Have you apologized to him?”
Clarke said, “We follow the stats and follow the law. That’s our job. We welcome the opportunity to engage with other pro-life groups that may be experiencing threats or acts of violence.”
“So the answer is ‘no,’” Roy snapped.
Houck’s story has become a cause celebre among critics who believe the Biden Justice Department has targeted Americans with conservative politics or traditional cultural beliefs. They point to Attorney General Merrick Garland’s directive that the FBI view parents protesting school board actions as potentially dangerous and an FBI probe into “radical” traditional Catholics.
Now, the Washington Examiner reports the Biden administration has “ramped up” its enforcement actions under the umbrella of the FACE Act. The report said the DOJ has brought “at least 15 criminal cases under the FACE Act involving approximately 46 anti-abortion defendants since January 2021, according to federal data and court records. The victims in all but one of those cases were abortion-rights supporters.”
DVJournal asked Houck, who is challenging Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) in the 2024 GOP primary, to comment on the exchange between Roy and the DOJ official.
“Of course, I don’t expect an apology,” said Houck. “She’s probably the person in charge of the Civil Rights Division in the DOJ that made the decision to raid my home. That’s probably where the final say came from. So I wouldn’t expect her to apologize for anything, for the decision she made.”