Carlson: Biden DOJ ‘fears’ those who pray, sing outside abortion clinics

(The Daily Signal) – Tucker Carlson Network founder Tucker Carlson has accused President Joe Biden’s administration of targeting a pro-life father for praying and singing outside of an…

(The Daily Signal) – Tucker Carlson Network founder Tucker Carlson has accused President Joe Biden’s administration of targeting a pro-life father for praying and singing outside of an abortion clinic, warning that the administration “fears” that type of activity.

Carlson interviewed Paul Vaughn, the Tennessee father of 11 children who was arrested by the FBI in October 2022 and charged with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. During an interview with The Daily Signal at the time of his arrest, Vaughn said that the FBI came to his home, “guns pointed at the door, banging on the house, yelling and screaming, ‘Open up! FBI.’”

“I had kids in the yard walking out to get in the car to go to school. I was about to take them to school, and other kids in the house,” he told The Daily Signal at the time. “So, seeing that the easiest path to de-escalation was me in handcuffs, I stepped outside and put an end to the ranting and the banging and the yelling.”

Carlson asked why exactly the Biden Justice Department would arrest Vaughn in such a dramatic manner.

“The question is,” the former Fox News Channel host asked, “what exactly did he do? Was he a terrorist, a serial killer? Was he trying to invade the country? No. Paul Vaughn, the father of 11 children, had dared to pray and sing hymns in the hallway of an abortion clinic.

“In other words, he did what the Biden administration really fears,” Carlson continued. “He prayed. And for doing that, he faces 11 years in prison.”

Video provided to The Daily Signal by Vaughn, taken by his wife, shows FBI agents outside the family’s home. Vaughn’s wife follows them, videotaping their conversation.

“I want to know why you were banging on my door with a gun,” she says. “Are you not going to tell me anything?”

“No, we are not,” one agent replies, while another says, “I tried.”

“No, you didn’t!” she shouts back. “You did not try.”

Carlson asked Vaughn whether he had ever thought that praying would be a federal crime with a penalty of 11 years in prison.

“I always thought praying for our nation is what we were instructed to do,” the pro-life father responded. “I thought that was what was required for freedom. And liberty is to beseech the favors of God on our land and to reach out to him. And, of course, we’re praying because our nation has allowed the sinful, atrocious action of abortion and killing unborn children. So, that’s ultimately what the Biden DOJ doesn’t like.”

Vaughn said that he believes the Biden DOJ’s intent with its “heavy-handed raid” was to “strike fear into Christians in the nation.”


“It’s an act of war against religious people,” he said. “And so that was their intent. Fortunately, God is gracious and kind, and his grace has been poured out upon our family, in ways we never could have experienced. And my children are growing up seeing a level of persecution that strengthens them, that provides a meaning in a foundation for their faith.”

He says he sees two ways of responding to these events.

“We can be bitter and upset and angry,” Vaughn said, “or we can be gracious, and we can be forgiving to the enemies. And trusting God is a God of justice, and he will work this out. And that’s the message that I’m telling my children. And I see them growing in this and understanding this.”

Vaughn praised the Christians all over the United States who have reached out to him to let him know they were praying for him. Asked by Carlson whether high-profile Christian leaders had drawn attention to his case, he said that he had not experienced much support from Christian leaders.

“It really is a moment for the church,” Carlson reflected. “If you’re an American Christian leader and you’re standing by without saying anything as a man faces 11 years in prison for saying prayers, I think it’s time to assess yourself.”

“Yep,” Vaughn replied, “I would absolutely agree. I would call on them to actually do that … we tend to divide the spiritual and material, and we either make it all one or the other, and we don’t do a good job as the American church of understanding that it’s both.”

Vaughn’s arrest came amid the Biden DOJ’s targeting of pro-life activists with the FACE Act. The FACE Act protects not only abortion clinics, but also pregnancy resource centers and houses of worship, but the Biden DOJ has largely used it to prosecute pro-life individuals.

Since 2022, the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division has charged dozens of pro-life individuals with FACE Act violations. In 2023, the DOJ charged four individuals with FACE Act violations related to attacks on pregnancy resource centers in Florida, though pro-abortion vandals have attacked at least 88 such centers and 218 churches since the May 2022 leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion indicating that Roe v. Wade would be overturned, according to CatholicVote.

In February, Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, urged the DOJ to comply with Republican demands to release FACE Act data. Though he had called on the DOJ in October 2022 to disclose FACE Act prosecution data, the DOJ didn’t release that data (even though the DOJ’s Kristen Clarke told Roy that she would ensure that he received the requested data in December).

Roy, who chairs the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government, warned that “DOJ’s failure to produce FACE Act prosecution data is particularly troubling in light of the apparent disparity between prosecutions targeting pro-life protesters and pro-abortion attacks on places of worship and pregnancy resource centers.”

“DOJ’s refusal to comply with this request hampers the committee’s constitutional duty to conduct oversight over the Department and the Civil Rights Division,” he said in the February letter, first obtained by The Daily Signal. “DOJ must return to its core mission of protecting all Americans, not simply those that it favors.”

“The Civil Rights Division continues to use the FACE Act to unfairly target pro-life advocates,” Roy wrote. “On January 30, 2024, six pro-life advocates were found guilty of violating the FACE Act, and they now face up to [10-1/2] years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $260,000.”

Roy specifically mentioned pro-life activist Mark Houck, another father with a large family.

“These prosecutions come after DOJ conducted an aggressive raid on the home of pro-life advocate Mark Houck to arrest him on an overzealous FACE Act charge stemming from Mr. Houck’s earlier encounter with a belligerent abortion activist who attacked his young son,” Roy said. “A Pennsylvania jury rightly acquitted [him] in January 2023.”

Houck and his wife, Ryan-Marie Houck, previously told The Daily Signal that they were targeted by the Biden DOJ in an effort to intimidate, silence, and scare the family for their pro-life work—praying outside abortion clinics for the women headed inside to abort their unborn babies. 

In November, the Houcks sued the Biden administration for “malicious and retaliatory prosecution.”