In a lengthy letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland, the House Judiciary Committee accuses the nation’s top attorney of lying under oath, and claims that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was deployed to monitor parents who have been protesting at school board meetings nationwide.
“It appears that the Biden administration did in fact mobilize FBI counterterrorism resources to investigate parents for expressing protected political speech at school board meetings. This directly contradicts AG Merrick Garland’s sworn testimony,” said Parents Defending Education, a nonprofit group that advocates for parents’ rights.
The saga began last year, when the National School Boards Association (NSBA) issued a now-withdrawn letter labeling parent protestors as a domestic terror threat. That letter was issued on September 29, prompting Garland to call on the FBI to use its authority to investigate parents.
Many parents have protested mask and vaccine mandates as well as the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools nationwide.
“On October 4, 2021, in response to a request from the National School Boards Association that the federal government use counterterrorism tools, including the Patriot Act, to target parents at school board meetings, you issued a memorandum directing the FBI to address these threats,” Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee letter says.
It was later reported that the White House had a hand in producing that memo.
But Garland said in his sworn testimony last month that the FBI was never mobilized against parents.
The Judiciary Committee says that is not true, and that it has the evidence – in the form of whistleblower emails – to prove it.
“The press release accompanying your memorandum highlighted the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center to serve as a snitch-line for tips about parents at school board meetings,” the letter says. “By October 20, the FBI had operationalized your directive. In an FBI-wide email, the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division and Criminal Division announced the creation of a new threat tag – EDUOFFICIALS – and directed all FBI personnel to apply it to school board related threats.”
The letter goes on to say that via whistleblowers, the committee learned that the FBI used that tag to identify parents in “almost every region of the country.”
One of those investigations was opened after a member of a group called Moms for Liberty, whose Tennessee chapter is run by Robin Steenman. An unidentified member of that group allegedly told the school board “we’re coming for you,” which the FBI designated as a threat.
An FBI agent then interviewed the mom, who said her comment was benign, and meant to send a message that the school board members would be replaced.
Steenman did not return a Thursday comment request, but has told the The Tennessee Star before that the Department of Justice’s persecution has only emboldened the group.
“Our message to [Attorney General Merrick] Garland would be this: by [weaponizing] the DOJ against parents, you’re only emboldening us and affirming to us how corrupt the system is – from the Public Schools, to the top of our government agencies,” she said in December. “It’s demonstrating just how far the progressive Left is willing to go to seize this generation’s mind – they will threaten, intimidate and harass parents using government authority if need be.”
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