"While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products, this particular field office product - disseminated only within the FBI - regarding racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism does not meet the exacting standards of the FBI," the statement reads.
In their letter to the U.S. attorney general, the 20 state attorneys general, all of whom are Republicans, address their concerns about the memorandum:
"We write with outrage and alarm to address the anti-Catholic internal memorandum produced by the FBI's Richmond Field Office on Jan. 23, 2023, which was released to the public this week.
"The FBI must immediately and unequivocally order agency personnel not to target Americans based on their religious beliefs and practices. We also demand that the FBI produce publicly all materials relating to the memorandum and its production," the letter said.
The material requested includes all documents implementing the report's recommendations, a complete briefing of the process by which it was drafted, and information about whether the FBI is infiltrating houses of worship, among other things.
"The FBI's scrubbing of the document from its systems and the purported 'review' of the process that created it in no way reassures us that this memorandum does not reflect a broader program of secretive surveillance of American Catholics or other religious adherents, and infiltration of their houses of worship," the state attorneys general wrote. "It assures us only that the FBI is embarrassed at the public revelation of the memorandum's contents."