Rep. Jeff Van Drew, after his heated exchange with Attorney General Merrick Garland during testimony to the House Judiciary Committee about the FBI's targeting of Catholics, told Newsmax on Thursday that it was the "climate" of the Department of Justice, under Garland, that led to such actions being allowed.
"What was the climate that allowed them to think that any of this would be acceptable?" the New Jersey Republican told Newsmax's "Newsline." "There's something wrong and we know it's wrong and he knows it's wrong, and that's why he tried to get out of it and weasel his way out. The truth is the truth and the truth shall set you free."
The facts, Van Drew added, are that Garland is the "attorney general of the United States and the buck stops with him."
"It is his FBI that was sending in undercover agents into traditional Roman Catholic churches because they thought they were domestic terrorists," said Van Drew. "I mean, that's just wrong. They've done all kinds of things to censor people, and we have something called the 'Facebook Files,' where again his FBI was involved in working with Facebook to censor people who had a different opinion, whether it was on any particular issue. It could have been on vaccines, it could have been they were too conservative … whatever the reason that's just wrong."
During Wednesday's hearing, Garland responded angrily to Van Drew when he asked him about the Catholic issue, telling him that the "idea that someone with my family background would discriminate against any religion is so outrageous, so absurd."
"If you want to be attorney general, you better be able to answer the tough questions and it was so nonsensical because he was so offended that that question would even be asked," Van Drew told Newsmax. "The reality is, and even he admits it and even Director [Christopher] Wray of the FBI admits they were doing that."
Wray also originally claimed that it was only the Virginia Field Office of the FBI that was investigating Catholics, but "there were multiple, multiple offices" involved," the congressman said.
"This is abhorrent," said Van Drew. "It's distasteful. It's un-American. It is anti-freedom and anti-freedom of religion and freedom of speech. It disgusted me that they were going to do that."
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Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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