“This subcommittee will be critical for providing oversight and accountability against a federal government that has been brazenly and unashamedly turned against the people,” Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy told CNA.
Though the subcommittee’s members have not been announced in full, it will be made up of 9 Republicans and 6 Democrats. Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie has said he will be on the subcommittee.
As ranking minority member of the Judiciary Committee, New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler will also be on the newly created subcommittee. Nadler called the subcommittee a ploy to “settle political scores on behalf of Donald Trump,” saying that time an money will be spent on “undermining our nation’s law enforcement agencies, our justice system, and our intelligence community, all for a political stunt catering to the extremist wing of the Republican Party.”
The subcommittee is expected to investigate the FBI’s use of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act to target and arrest pro-life activists in addition to the government’s investigations that may have been influenced by political considerations.
Perhaps the most controversial use of the FACE Act was the arrest of Catholic father and pro-life activist Mark Houck. The Pennsylvania resident was accused of pushing a Planned Parenthood volunteer in defense of his son about a year before his arrest. In September 2022 Houck was taken into custody by armed FBI agents while he was at home with his wife and children.
A September 2022 open letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) signed by 22 House Republicans accused the FBI of using “an excessive level of force” in “an extraordinary overreach for political ends.” More questions arose about the manner of Houck’s arrest when his lawyers revealed he had offered to turn himself in voluntarily in June.