FBI, Justice Division Twist Federal Regulation to Arrest, Cost Professional-Life Activist

In an early morning raid Friday in Kintnersville, Pennsylvania, about two dozen FBI brokers with weapons drawn pounded on the door of Mark Houck’s residence, the place he lives together with his spouse and 7 youngsters. 

The FBI brokers arrested Houck primarily based on a federal indictment. Sounds severe, proper? Is Houck a home terrorist, an American jihadist, a harmful militia member, a violent felon, or somebody with a previous historical past of violence towards legislation enforcement who would require such an amazing present of pressure?

Not even shut.

Houck is a pro-life activist and president of The King’s Males, a Catholic ministry. He has no prior felony file. He was arrested Friday morning for an alleged violation of the federal Freedom of Entry to Clinic Entrances Act, referred to as the FACE Act.

Once more, sounds doubtlessly severe. However given the Obama-Biden administration’s prior abuse of the FACE Act, in addition to what we all know already in regards to the info, we have now severe causes to doubt that it is a legit case and prudent use of federal legislation enforcement sources. Extra possible, it’s a politically motivated abuse of federal legislation by each the FBI and the Justice Division. 

It isn’t a coincidence, we suspect, that this takedown of somebody who, at greatest, dedicated a misdemeanor assault got here virtually precisely three months after the Supreme Courtroom issued its determination in Dobbs v. Jackson Girls’s Well being Group, which overruled Roe v. Wade and abortion on demand in America. The FBI’s raid of Houck’s residence was designed to ship a warning to pro-life activists participating in actions protected by the First Modification.

The FACE Act (18 U.S.C. § 248) forbids bodily obstructing, injuring, intimidating, or interfering with anybody “acquiring or offering reproductive well being providers.” However Congress specified that the FACE Act doesn’t “prohibit any expressive conduct (together with peaceable picketing or different peaceable demonstration) protected against authorized prohibitions by the First Modification to the Structure,” together with the “free speech or free train clauses,” occurring “outdoors a facility.”  

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Houck apparently would repeatedly drive two hours from his residence to a Deliberate Parenthood clinic in Philadelphia to hope and communicate outdoors the power, typically taking his 12-year-old son with him.

The federal indictment claims that just about a 12 months in the past, Houck “verbally confronted” and “shoved” an escort for an abortion affected person “to the bottom” and “deliberately injured, intimidated and interfered” with the escort.

What the indictment fails to say, say Houck’s spouse and a household spokesman, is that on a number of events this pro-abortion escort mentioned “crude … inappropriate and disgusting issues” to the Houcks’ son, equivalent to “your dad’s a fag” and different vulgar slurs.

Houck stored telling the escort to cease harassing his son, they are saying, however the escort refused to cease and when the foul-mouthed vulgarian obtained too near his son, Houck protected him by shoving the escort away. 

The escort fell down, however, in accordance with Houck’s household, the one damage he suffered required “a Band-Help on his finger.” 

The incident occurred Oct. 21, 2021. The assault declare in opposition to Houck is so weak that not solely did Philadelphia District Legal professional Larry Krasner, a Soros-backed rogue prosecutor, refuse to file any misdemeanor prices in opposition to Houck, however, the household says, a civil lawsuit filed by the escort was thrown out of court docket.

Now, virtually a 12 months later, the FBI exhibits up at Houck’s residence in pressure and the Justice Division prices him with two felonies for an damage that required a Band-Help. His conviction may outcome, in accordance with the Justice Division, in a most penalty of “11 years in jail, three years of supervised launch and fines of as much as $350,000.”

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Little doubt, Houck’s protection lawyer will discover any and all defenses, beginning with whether or not the person shoved by Houck even falls throughout the “acquiring or offering” requirement of the federal statute. It additionally could also be a transparent case of self-defense, since Houck apparently was defending his 12-year-old son from an grownup who was harassing and intimidating a minor.  

The very fact is that the Justice Division, beneath Democratic administrations, has a historical past of misusing the FACE Act to go after abortion opponents.

In 2012, for instance, a federal choose in Florida tossed out a FACE Act indictment in opposition to Mary Susan Pine, a  pro-life activist who had been conducting peaceable sidewalk counseling outdoors an abortion clinic for a few years. The choose excoriated the Justice Division for the habits of its attorneys, saying that the indictment gave the impression to be the “product of a concerted effort between the federal government and the [abortion clinic] … to quell Ms. Pine’s actions” slightly than to implement the statute.

The timing of this indictment of Houck is also suspect and calls into query the motive behind the Justice Division’s transfer. If this example performed out the way in which the Justice Division claims, even seen within the mild most favorable to the federal government this was, at greatest, two minor incidents of misdemeanor assault. 

It’s vital that native authorities, together with the Philadelphia District Legal professional’s Workplace, determined to not file prices in opposition to Houck. It signifies that, for no matter purpose, they didn’t even assume Houck’s conduct warranted a misdemeanor assault cost, a lot much less the 2 felony prices that he now faces. 

Most probably, the native authorities didn’t file prices as a result of, upon inspecting the info, it was, at greatest, a case of “mutual fight” by which two adults obtained out of hand and ended up in a minor scuffle. In such instances, usually neither social gathering is charged, and the case goes away. 

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If this was such an vital violation of the FACE Act, what took the Justice Division 337 days to indict Houck? That is the best of easy, factual instances. Houck both pushed the escort twice, unprovoked, or he didn’t. 

Maybe the extra vital quantity is 91. That’s what number of days elapsed between the day the Supreme Courtroom issued its determination in Dobbs and Houck’s indictment. Or possibly it’s 49—the variety of days between Houck’s indictment and the mid-term elections.

And why did the Justice Division resolve to ship armed FBI brokers to Houck’s home in a present of pressure? Houck has no felony file, is a person of religion, and is the daddy of seven youngsters. He’s no menace in anyway. 

Distinction this prosecution with the truth that vandals bodily have attacked and broken roughly 70 pro-life being pregnant facilities, which are also protected beneath the FACE Act’s definition of a facility that “gives reproductive well being providers.”

So why hasn’t the Justice Division filed a single FACE Act indictment in opposition to anybody for these crimes?

Clearly, the management of the FBI and the Justice Division must be requested these and different vital questions surrounding this case, in addition to their lack of motion in opposition to actual threats. 

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