The office of Republican Gov. Bill Lee failed to condemn the prosecution of 11 demonstrators charged by the DOJ for their role in a peaceful pro-life protest in his state of Tennessee. The governor’s office also refused to say whether Lee plans on doing anything to protect the First Amendment rights of Tennessean pro-lifers targeted by President Biden’s corrupt FBI.
The home of one of the 11 pro-lifers, Chester (Chet) Gallagher, was raided by armed agents Wednesday. The charges were related to a pro-life event Gallagher orchestrated on March 5, 2021, when he and others peacefully and prayerfully attempted to convince mothers seeking an abortion to choose life at the Carafem abortion facility in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.
That day, local police arrested several pro-lifers on misdemeanor trespass charges, and they were later released after posting bail. However, local law enforcement’s handling of the event wasn’t good enough for Biden’s DOJ.
Of the 11 individuals facing the wrath of the FBI, seven are being charged “with conspiracy against rights secured by the FACE [Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances] Act, and committing FACE Act violations.” The other four individuals are being charged with only FACE Act violations.
If convicted, the seven conspiracy defendants face a maximum of 11 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000, according to the DOJ. The remaining four defendants face up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
The Federalist tried reaching out to Gov. Lee’s office by phone, via his online contact form, and in an email to Lee’s Director of Communications, Casey Sellers, to ask if the governor was taking any action to protect pro-lifers like the 11 charged this week. When the communications office did not respond, a note of the governor’s non-response was included in an article about the FBI raid on Gallagher.
Shortly after the story was published, Sellers responded, saying that the governor condemned violent attacks on Tennessee pro-life pregnancy resource centers and the DOJ’s refusal to bring those responsible to justice. “The politicization of Pres. Biden’s DOJ is an abuse of power, and the American people deserve answers about vandalism and violent threats against pregnancy resource centers across the country,” she said. “Gov. Lee has called this terrorism and demanded that a recent attack against Hope Clinic in Nashville be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” Her answer, however, made no mention of the FBI’s raid on Gallagher or its prosecution of other pro-lifers.
When the aforementioned article was not updated with Seller’s off-topic response, she emailed again yesterday evening, writing, “It looks like the story hasn’t been updated, so making sure you’ve seen this.”
The Federalist responded to Sellers last night, writing that “[We’d] be happy to update our readers if you answer [our] question: Does Governor Bill Lee plan on doing anything to protect the First Amendment rights of Tennessean pro-lifers, like Chester Gallagher and the other 10 peaceful pro-life protesters, who become political targets of the DOJ?” Lee’s communications office never responded.
The Tennessee raid on Gallagher marks the second instance of the DOJ targeting pro-lifers in recent weeks. Mark Houck of Pennsylvania is another pro-life man whose house was raided. Houck faces FACE Act violation charges, a maximum of 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $350,000. Less than a month ago, the Catholic father of seven and pro-life leader was arrested by 25-30 armed agents in front of his terrified wife and “screaming” children at their Pennsylvania home.
The charges are related to a physical altercation last October between Houck and a pro-abortion activist who was working as a Planned Parenthood escort near an abortion facility in Philadelphia. While Houck and his 12-year-old son were sidewalk counseling outside the building, the pro-abortion man verbally harassed Houck’s son until Houck shoved the man, causing him to fall to the ground.
The Federalist’s Margot Cleveland revealed through court documents that by the pro-choice man’s own account the shoving did not violate the FACE Act “because Houck was standing at a corner away from the abortion facility, no clients were involved, and the alleged assault had nothing to do with so-called reproductive services.” The FBI is terrorizing Houck and his family on seemingly baseless charges.
The FBI’s laundry list of political attacks seems to be growing every day—from working to undermine President Trump while he was in office, to raiding his Mar-a-Lago home as soon as he left, then labeling parents who exercise free speech at school board meetings as “terrorists,” and interfering in the 2020 election by instructing Facebook (and likely other platforms) to falsely brand the Hunter Biden laptop story as Russian disinformation to censor.