The lawyer for pro-life activist Mark Houck, who was arrested Friday after the FBI stormed his home, denounced the Department of Justice on Monday and said Houck is "innocent," according to the National Review.
Thomas More Society Vice President Peter Breen told the news outlet that the DOJ targeted Houck "solely to intimidate people of faith and pro-life Americans."
"Rather than accepting Mark Houck’s offer to appear voluntarily, the Biden Department of Justice chose to make an unnecessary show of potentially deadly force, sending 20 heavily armed federal agents to the Houck residence at dawn this past Friday," Breen, senior council, said.
"In threatening form, after nearly breaking down the family’s front door, at least five agents pointed guns at Mark’s head and arrested him in front of his wife and seven young children who were terrified that their husband and father would be shot dead before their eyes."
Houck, 48, a volunteer sidewalk counselor who drives hours to Philadelphia every Wednesday to speak outside abortion clinics, was indicted Friday by a grand jury, according to the Review.
He was charged with two counts of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which makes it a federal crime to interfere with access to an abortion clinic, and faces up to 11 years in prison and fines of up to $350,000.
Houck allegedly pushed a pro-abortion man, identified as "B.L." in a DOJ press release, away from Houck's 12-year-old son last October after the man allegedly entered "the son’s personal space" and wouldn’t stop making "crude … inappropriate and disgusting" comments about the family.
According to the DOJ, B.L. was a "volunteer escort at the reproductive healthcare clinic" and Houck violated the FACE Act by pushing him.
Lawyers from the Thomas More Society released a statement in June, contending that the FACE Act "does not cover one-on-one altercations like the one involving Houck."
"This case is being brought solely to intimidate people of faith and pro-life Americans," Breen said, according to the Review. "Mark Houck is innocent of these lawless charges, and we intend to prove that in court."
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday, asking why pro-life protesters such as Houck are arrested by the FBI, while the department turns "a blind eye to the epidemic of violence across the country by pro-abortion extremists against pregnancy resource centers, houses of worship, and pro-life Americans."
The Missouri senator gave Garland 10 days to come up with answers to his questions and also requested that Garland testify under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the "selective use and apparent political weaponization of the FACE Act."
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