As scores of pro-life activists have been arrested by the Biden administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ), one of the families affected is speaking out. Paul Vaughn was arrested at his family’s Tennessee farmhouse by FBI agents with assault weapons drawn, terrifying his wife and children.
Townhall reporter Mia Cathell obtained exclusive video from the Vaughn family, which showed FBI agents ignoring his wife’s pleas after her husband was arrested. The raid on their home took place at 7:20 am. Vaughn, the president of Personhood Tennessee, had not previously been arrested on any charge, according to a press release.
In March of 2021, a group of pro-life activists entered the Carafem abortion facility in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. In an interview with WZTV at the time, Vaughn made it clear there was never any threat to the staff working at the facility, or to the women who may have been present. “It was like church service in there, people sitting in the floor in the hallway, people singing hymns, reading scripture, praying,” he said. “The purpose is to try to save babies today and most importantly be obedient to Christ.”
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🚨 One of the pro-life leaders targeted by Biden's DOJ sent me footage of the early morning FBI raid on his family home. Paul Vaughn was placed in handcuffs by armed FBI agents in front of his children just before school drop-off. Watch as his wife pleads for answers mid-arrest: https://t.co/lUP6tJOSzW pic.twitter.com/XeYComC6mZ
— Mia Cathell (@MiaCathell) October 7, 2022
Vaughn is being charged with conspiracy to violate the FACE Act. “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,” Les Riley, president of the Personhood Alliance, said in the press release.
Yet at the time of the arrest, no one in the Vaughn family knew what was happening, or where Vaughn was being taken.
“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,” Cathell reported for Townhall. “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.'”
Vaughn’s wife told Townhall they did not provide a warrant for his arrest, nor did they tell her where they were taking her husband.
Within 10 minutes, he was taken away in an undershirt and jeans, without allowing him to take identification or any means of communicating with his family. They were not given any information about his whereabouts until six hours later. Vaughn was eventually taken to a federal holding facility, brought before a judge, charged, and then released — 60 miles away from his home, with no wallet or cell phone.
“For over six hours, no one knew where I was and why I was kidnapped from my home at gunpoint,” he told Townhall. “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 has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
“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,” he said. “If you are an oppressive regime and wanted to strike fear and suppress any opposition and dissent, this is exactly the path to take. 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.”