“While it’s the FBI’s standard practice not to discuss such operational specifics, we can say that the number of personnel and vehicles widely reported as being on scene Friday is an overstatement, and the tactics used by FBI personnel were professional, in line with standard practices, and intended to ensure the safety of everyone present in and outside the residence,” the statement concluded.
An FBI spokesman declined to answer CNA’s questions about the number of law enforcement personnel at the scene and whether any drew their weapons and pointed them at the family.
Houck was indicted by a federal grand jury Sept. 22 after a Planned Parenthood clinic escort alleged that Houck pushed him twice, causing him to fall to the ground both times.
The federal indictment says that Houck twice assaulted the 72-year-old man, identified in the indictment by the initials B.L., who was at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Philadelphia on Oct. 13, 2021.
According to the indictment, Houck shoved the man to the ground as he was attempting to escort two patients. The indictment also says that Houck “verbally confronted” and “forcefully shoved” him to the ground in front of Planned Parenthood the same day. The indictment says the man was injured and needed medical attention.
Houck regularly prays the rosary, hands out literature, and “does some sidewalk counseling” outside the clinic, his wife told CNA the day of the arrest.
Brian Middleton, who acted as Houck’s family spokesperson, told CNA Monday that Mark Houck maintains that he pushed the clinic escort in an effort to protect his then 12-year-old son from the man’s verbal harassment of the boy.
Middleton said that the man fell down but was not seriously hurt and required only “a Band-Aid on his finger.”
Houck faces the possibility of 11 years in prison if convicted under the new federal charges.
The congressional letter addressed the dropped state charges.
(Story continues below)
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“There is much to learn about the extent of the FBI’s operations in this case, especially since state-level assault charges were apparently dismissed by local authorities in Philadelphia,” the congressional letter says.
“Surely, the FBI must have an extraordinary reason for showing up at the home of an American family, allegedly with roughly 25 heavily armed federal agents, and arresting a father in front of his seven children. At the moment, it appears to be an extraordinary overreach for political ends.”