error 'unable to search w. Spotlight'

Aunt Meg

Built a 3-step automator workflow: 1. Ask for Finder items 2. Filter Finder Items 3. Copy Finder Items
The workflow stops at step 2 with "unable to search w. Spotlight'
I have tried the following without success:
  • check that Spotlight is set to search for what I am looking for - (all categories are selected)
  • move my entire hard drive into 'privacy' at Spotlight system prefs; restart; take my entire hard drive out of 'privacy'
  • run Disk Utilities from recovery mode - nothing wrong
  • re-install Mojave
  • change the display resolution
  • Follow the instructions from this post: - Services opened a folder named .Spotlight-V100 but it had no subfolder inside
  • attempt Terminal commands as follows 1. cd / 2. sudo rm -R .Spotlight-V100/ and got error 'operation not permitted'

I am running Mojave 10.14.3
I have FileVault ON