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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Armed FBI Agents Arrest Pro-Life Leader in Front of His Children

Courtesy of Paul Vaughn

A cadre of armed FBI agents descended on the family home of one of the 11 pro-life activists targeted by President Joe Biden's Justice Department for peacefully protesting outside an abortion clinic in Tennessee.

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The DOJ charged pro-life leader Paul Vaughn with "a civil rights conspiracy" and a Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act) offense over the activist blockade of a Nashville-area abortion facility in early March 2021. A federal indictment unsealed Wednesday alleges that the pro-life defendants "engaged in a conspiracy to prevent the clinic from providing" and patients from receiving abortion services and violated the FACE Act by "using physical obstruction to intimidate and interfere with the clinic's employees and a patient."

If convicted, Vaughn faces up to 11 years in prison, three years supervised release and fines of up to $350,000.

Vaughn, the president of Personhood Tennessee, told FOX Chattanooga at the time that it was "like church service in there" with pro-life protestors "singing hymns, reading scripture, praying," and sitting on the floor in the hallway outside of Carafem Health Center Clinic, an abortion facility located within a medical office building.

"We laid down our freedoms and said that, 'If babies were going to die here today, it was going to be necessary that they had a Christian witness that somebody would show them an act of kindness, an act of love, and try to save that little baby's life.' That was the purpose of what we were doing," Vaughn stated in an interview, emphasizing that the effort was to both "save lives" and "bring [the pro-life cause] to the public discourse."

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Vaughn's house underwent an early morning FBI raid at around 7:20 a.m. Wednesday when four FBI agents approached his family home with "guns drawn" in front of his young children and "began banging on his door so hard that it made the old farmhouse shake," a Personhood Alliance press release sent to Townhall says.

Townhall has obtained exclusive footage of the FBI raid on Vaughn's family residence just before school drop-off.

"I want to know why you were banging on my door with a gun," Vaughn's wife says to an FBI agent in the video. "You're not going to tell me anything?" The FBI agent claims: "I tried, ma'am." Vaughn's wife objects, "No, you didn't! You did not try!" She approaches the government vehicle carrying Vaughn in the back seat. "This is not acceptable," she states. Moments later, she asks an FBI agent, who ignores her, for his name. "You're not going to give me your name? You're not going to give me any information?" she questions as they drive away.

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Vaughn shared his family's account of the FBI raid with Townhall, providing harrowing details of his arrest just before the father was about to take his children to school. According to a statement provided to Townhall, Vaughn was handcuffed on the porch in front of his kids after FBI agents raided the Vaughn family property while carrying assault rifles and side arms. Three of Vaughn's children were outside walking through the backyard when an FBI agent armed with an AR-15 confronted the kids and questioned them. Several kids were asleep upstairs, and one child ran to her mother frantically crying, "The FBI is here, and they are arresting Daddy." Vaughn's wife remarked, "They traumatized me and my children intentionally. We will never forget this."

His wife, shaking and fighting back tears, said she demanded to know what was happening. Still, the FBI agents refused to answer why they were there, did not identify themselves, did not show badges, provided no warrant proof, and did not say where they were taking her husband. Vaughn was placed in an SUV wearing his undershirt and jeans with no identification or means of communication when he got whisked away within a 10-minute timeframe. Their children were left "shaken, frightened, and very upset," Vaughn said. 

According to Vaughn, the family did not receive any official information about the cause of the raid or Vaughn's whereabouts until six hours after the arrest. He said he was held in a federal holding facility, brought before a judge, charged, and then released without a wallet or a cell phone 60 miles from his Hickman County home.

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"For over six hours, no one knew where I was and why I was kidnapped from my home at gunpoint. It took a good attorney six hours to be able to break through the bureaucracy and find the people who know what was going on," Vaughn told Townhall. In the meantime, his searching wife had to console their crying children.

The 55-year-old father of 11 at home with his family when the feds raided his place was never arrested at the March 5, 2021, pro-life protest. Instead of sitting in, he worked to mediate between the "rescuers" and the police to "ensure everyone's safety." No one was hurt, and nothing was damaged as a result. According to his parent organization's press release, a rescue is "a peaceful form of protest that involves non-violent pro-life protesters engaging in America's long-standing tradition of opposing injustice with peaceful civil disobedience."

Personhood Alliance's general counsel Gualberto Garcia Jones commented that the alliance stands with Vaughn and the protestors, "which the government is persecuting simply because of their opinions and in violation of the United States Constitution. After the Dobbs decision and the overturning of the so-called right to abortion, it is time for the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the FACE Act as an example of unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination that infringes on the right of pro-life Americans to engage in peaceful protests."

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A fundraising campaign has since been launched on the Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo to support the peace-seeking family man, a small business owner bearing "the costs of standing up for the voiceless."

Vaughn pled not guilty to the charges and is searching for the right legal team to fight the legal battle "to the fullest." In a statement to Townhall, Vaughn called the FBI "paid thugs of an out-of-control Justice Department" that "must be reined in immediately." Vaughn said he would have turned himself in or showed up when summoned to appear. "There were no legitimate reasons for their abusive and excessive show of force," he said.

"The Justice Department is in charge by definition of defending that which is good and prosecuting that which is evil. That is a basic definition of justice. When justice is weaponized, you cease to have justice. In the absence of justice, you have tyranny.  It is not as complicated as many want to make it," Vaughn told Townhall.

Vaughn encouraged others to call their representatives and demand the impeachment of both U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and the DOJ's Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general for its civil rights division.  

"If you are an oppressive regime and wanted to strike fear and suppress any opposition and dissent, this is exactly the path to take," Vaughn declared. "But this is not the end. It is just the beginning. When this false case is won, there will be another case, and we will deal with the abuse of power and the excessive show of force."

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Personhood Alliance president Les Riley responded in a press statement: "What Paul's arrest shows is that President Biden, the Justice Department, and the FBI will use the government to fund their political and ideological allies—like Planned Parenthood while using law enforcement to persecute and harass their political opponents—like non-violent pro-life activists." Vaughn's local Personhood affiliate advocates for "a biblical view of the inalienable dignity of the human person" while the Personhood Alliance at large is "a confederation of independent, pro-life organizations who pursue personhood as the essential strategy for restoring legal protections to every human being—from biological beginning to natural death, without exception."

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