Chuck Grassley presses FBI to explain its monitoring of conservative women's group
Jul 26, 2021 1 min, 55 secs
Concerned Women of America targeted for probe, documents say.

Chuck Grassley is pressing the FBI to explain the reasoning for its newly revealed probe into the conservative group Concerned Women for America, The Washington Times has learned.

The FBI‘s review of the pro-life women’s organization has prompted an outcry from the group’s leadership and others concerned about law enforcement and intelligence community surveillance of Americans.

The FBI determined in July 2016 that there was nothing to investigate regarding Concerned Women for America after a “charity assessment” for potential “embezzlement of non-profit organizations/corporate fraud,” according to a document that the FBI revealed in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Cato Institute.

The FBI‘s Washington field office cited a subpar rating from Charity Navigator, a group that evaluates organizations, to justify digging into Concerned Women for America.

Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Nance said the revelation of the FBI‘s probe has prompted her and the organization’s officials to reevaluate their positions on surveillance-related issues.

Concerned Women for America has traditionally supported law enforcement and the intelligence community, but Ms.

Nance said the FBI should have used its resources on the sexual abuse investigation of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar instead of wasting time on her group of church women.

The bureau’s assessment of Concerned Women for America is part of a larger effort to monitor various groups, said Cato Institute senior fellow Patrick Eddington, who uncovered the FBI‘s monitoring of the organization.

“Using Charity Navigator to pick on Concerned Women for America — definitely not a legitimate use of FBI time and resources.”.

Eddington said the Cato Institute has mounted a widespread effort since 2019 through FOIA requests to unearth how the FBI and the federal government choose to keep tabs on domestic civil society groups of all categories, including religious, professional, ethnic, academic, environmental and political organizations

Eddington wrote this year that the Cato Institute found evidence that the FBI had opened assessments on the Massachusetts-based Muslim Justice League, a New York chapter of the League of Women Voters and a Colorado chapter of the International Rescue Committee

In April 2021, the Cato Institute filed a lawsuit against the FBI to get the government to hand over details about its assessments in response to FOIA requests

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