In a new interview, Mark Houck’s wife says the FBI raid at their family home left their children traumatized.
As LifeNews has reported, Joe Biden’s Justice Department clearly targeted a pro-life man and his family with a shocking home raid as an act of persecution.
Mark Houck made national headlines after more than 20 heavily-armed federal agents stormed his home at dawn on September 23 — frightening his family, pointing guns at his head, and then arresting him in front of his wife and seven young children.
Biden’s FBI has raided the home of the well-known pro-life advocate and arrested him on a bogus charge that had already been thrown out of court. Biden’s administration is coming under fire for weaponizing the FBI and Department of Justice to target pro-life conservatives.
Houck’s wife Ryan-Marie talked with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson about the FBI raid’s traumatizing impact on their children.
“It was devastating,” she said about the incident. “You can imagine, I mean it’s hard to even express the victimization and how traumatized we all are due to this unnecessary thing that happened to us.”
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When Carlson asked Ryan-Marie how many FBI agents were at her house, she replied, “It had to have been 20, 25, 30. We have a large property. My entire front yard, you could barely see it. It was covered with at least 15 big trucks and cars. And there were, like I said 20, 25, 30 men, women…completely in jackets with shields and helmets and guns. And they were behind cars.”
“It was something I never expect to see on my front lawn,” she added. “It was crazy.”
Ryan-Marie said her children have been adversely affected by the raid.
“It’s hard to tell,” she replied. “The older ones we can talk. We can cry. We’ve had some counseling. We have more counseling to do. And the little ones, they’re scared. They’re scared. There’s a lot of crying. And a lot of unrestful sleep. A lot of kids in our bed at night and in the morning.”
Thomas More Society Senior Counsel Peter Breen also appeared on the program and discussed the absurdity of the FBI raiding their family home and arresting a father in front of his wife and children even though he had already agreed to cooperate with FBI officials months ago. He called the FBI’s action “reckless and outrageous.”
“It put the Houck family in unnecessary danger,” he said. “We offered to bring him (Houck) in. Didn’t get a response. Even if you’re going to arrest a regular person, you just send a couple of agents and they knock on the door. Not dragging the head of the family out, violating the sanctity of the home, pointing guns at them.”
“This was outrageous and uncalled for,” Breen said.
Houck, a father of seven, is frequently seen sidewalk counseling in front of Philadelphia abortion businesses to help women choose pro-life alternatives.
In October 2021, Houck was involved in an incident outside a Philadelphia abortion business where a pro-abortion clinic escort had repeatedly bullied and intimidated his 12-year-old son who was with him to help sidewalk counsel and encourage women to choose pro-life alternatives. After multiple verbal assaults and the abortion activist getting into his son’s face, Houck pushed him away and he fell.
Houck, who regularly prays the rosary outside the clinic, maintains he was defending his 12-year-old son from the escort’s verbal harassment, a family spokesman, Brian Middleton, told CNA. The man fell when Houck pushed him away, Middleton said. The incident was so minor that charges were never pressed and a court ultimately dismissed a complaint the abortion activist filed.
However, Houck is now alleged to have violated the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, commonly known as FACE, outside of a Pennsylvania abortion facility.
In June 2022, Thomas More Society attorneys notified the Biden Department of Justice that the FACE Act does not cover one-on-one altercations like the one involving Houck, which was initiated by the abortion proponent who was harassing Houck’s son. The Department of Justice was also advised that if the decision was made to bring a charge against Houck despite lack of legal foundation, Houck would appear voluntarily.
“Rather than accepting Mark Houck’s offer to appear voluntarily, the Biden Department of Justice chose to make an unnecessary show of potentially deadly force, sending twenty heavily armed federal agents to the Houck residence at dawn this past Friday,” explained Breen. “In threatening form, after nearly breaking down the family’s front door, at least five agents pointed guns at Mark’s head and arrested him in front of his wife and seven young children, who were terrified that their husband and father would be shot dead before their eyes.”
“This case is being brought solely to intimidate people of faith and pro-life Americans,” stated Breen. “Mark Houck is innocent of these lawless charges, and we intend to prove that in court.”
If the DOJ pursue the charges, it will be going agaisnt court precedent. In June 2019, Thomas More Society attorneys won a case in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, establishing that a one-off altercation, like the one in which the Biden Department of Justice is levying two counts against Houck, cannot form the basis for a FACE claim.
Biden’s Justice Department is now charging Houck with violating the FACE Act and Houck is now facing a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $350,000 for merely defending his son from being attacked.
With the help of pro-life attorneys during an appearance in federal court, Houck pleaded not guilty in Pennsylvania federal court to violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which makes it a federal crime to use force with the intent to injure, intimidate and interfere with anyone trying to access either abortion at an abortion business or medical care at a pregnancy center.
Houck’s attorney, Peter Breen, said that the case already made its way through the state court process and was thrown out, but the Biden Department of Justice took up the matter nearly a year later as a form of “political prosecution.”
“If he was truly a danger to the community, they wouldn’t have waited a year to prosecute,” Breen, VP senior counsel of the Thomas Moore Society, said outside the courthouse. “Serious questions need to be asked of the Attorney General. What was he thinking? Why did they do this obscene show of force against a peaceful pillar of the community?”
“It put officers’ lives in danger. It put the Houck family in danger. And it was an utter waste of judicial resources and taxpayer resources,” Breen said.
Breen said his team contacted the DOJ and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in June to inform them they had no case based on controlling precedent but if they decided to indict, defense would present Houck willingly in response to a summons. Breen said the next notice he received was that his client was in custody.
“This is a political prosecution,” Breen said. “And what’s clear from the Department of Justice at its highest levels which is directing this case that they are trying to send a message to pro-life and people of faith – ‘don’t mess with us.’ They want to intimidate — they want to cause good people like Mark to stop praying and counseling at the abortion clinics of our country. And that’s not going to happen.”
The U.S. government alleges that Houck assaulted and “forcefully shoved” Bruce Love, a 72-year-old volunteer at a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood.
Breen, however, categorized the abortion escort as “extremely aggressive,” saying Love was “harassing” Houck’s 12-year-old son before an “altercation ensued.”
“What in the world would possess the Department of Justice to send 20 or so heavily armed agents to this family’s home, violate the sanctity of that home, frighten the children and then drag their father away instead of allowing us to present him peacefully – which we had offered to do?” Breen said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Senator Josh Hawley is livid that the FBI has arrested a peaceful pro-life advocate on a bogus assault charge and is threatening to put him in prison for as much as 11 years.
On Monday, Hawley sent Attorney General Merrick Garland a letter demanding answers on “shocking reports” of the arrest.
Yesterday, in an appearance on Fox News, Hawley complained that pro-life advocates and conservatives are being “targeted by this administration.” He condemned the duplicity of targeting a peaceful pro-life advocate but essentially ignoring over 100 attacks on pro-life groups, pregnancy centers and churches.
“They’ll send a SWAT-style team to go after a Catholic pro-life activist. But at the same time, there are, what, 17 or more fire bombings, a pregnancy care centers that have not,” he said.
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“There are two systems and one is ideological. And if you are a conservative, if you are a person of faith, then you are going to get targeted by this administration,” he added.
“I want to know who signed off on this. I want to know exactly the person or group of people. And they need to be held accountable and be held accountable, I mean, removed from office,” said Hawley. “If that is Merrick Garland, he should be removed from office. It’s time to take the gloves off here and defend the rule of law.”
Hawley concluded with a message to the FBI and DOJ.
“Preserve your documents right now. Don’t delete anything because the Republican Congress is coming, and we are going to hold you accountable.”
Fortunately, pro-life Americans have stepped up and are helping the Houck family in this battle. More than 4,000 donations have been offered to Houck and his family, totaling $251,810 by Tuesday afternoon.GiveSendGo, an alternative to GoFundMe, allows users to submit prayers, too. So far, more than 3,500 prayers have been offered to the family.