The FBI is reportedly probing a Christian faith group that counts Catholic Supreme Court justice Amy Coney Barrett as a member, months after Republicans accused the agency of targeting Catholics.
The agency has interviewed several people who claim they were abused by members of the group, People of Praise, sources told the Guardian. Barrett, who was elevated to the Supreme Court by former president Donald Trump, has been a member of the South Bend, Indiana-based group for decades.
It is not clear whether the agency has launched a full investigation or is just conducting interviews.
Some former members have accused the group of covering up abuse, the Guardian reported:
The individuals were contacted following a years-long effort by a group called PoP Survivors, who have called for the South Bend-based sect to be investigated for leaders’ handling of sexual abuse allegations. The body, which has 54 members, has alleged that abuse claims were routinely mishandled or covered up for decades in order to protect the close-knit faith group.
During Barrett's confirmation process in October 2020, her critics hammered on her association with People of Praise, framing the group as radical and misogynistic. Media outlets publicized allegations against the group by a former member who, the Washington Free Beacon reported, has a history of far-fetched claims, litigiousness, and hyper-partisanship.
The development comes two months after House Republicans said they uncovered evidence that shows multiple FBI field offices worked together to target traditionalist Catholics.
Republicans also revealed in April that the FBI created a plan to cultivate sources inside Catholic churches to investigate alleged religious extremism.