Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee issued a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland last week detailing the extent to which the FBI, at Garland’s behest, launched counterterrorism investigations into parents who vocally objected to their local school board policies.
Last year, Garland stunned the nation after directing the FBI to examine such activism, which came on the heels of a since-rescinded letter from the National School Board Association which had called on President Joe Biden’s administration to treat parents protesting school board policies as such.
Although the NSBA later retracted the letter and apologized amid a mass exodus from state member groups, the FBI and DOJ apparently did not put the breaks on probe into parents, The Western Journal reported of Jordan’s letter.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) wrote that the FBI “labeled at least dozens of investigations into parents with a threat tag created by the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division to assess and track investigations related to school boards.”
According to Jordan, the FBI created a new threat tag, EDUOFFICIALS, for the parents they then monitored, which included “parents upset about mask mandates and state elected officials who publicly voiced opposition to vaccine mandate.”
The Republican firebrand also noted that the findings of himself and his fellow GOP Judiciary Committee members appear to contradict with sworn testimony Garland provided to the panel in which he had denied that the DOJ was using counterterrorism statutes to investigate parents.
“We have learned from brave whistleblowers that the FBI has opened investigations with the EDUOFFICIALS threat tag in almost every region of the country and relating to all types of educational settings,” Jordan wrote.
“The information we have received shows how, as a direct result of your directive, federal law enforcement is using counterterrorism resources to investigate protected First Amendment activity,” he continued. The letter included several examples of cases with the tag that were investigated by the FBI.
“This whistleblower information is startling,” Jordan noted.
“Although FBI agents ultimately—and rightly—determined that these cases did not implicate federal criminal statutes, the agents still exerted their limited time and resources investigating these complaints,” he also wrote. “This valuable law-enforcement time and resources could have been expended on real and pressing threats.”
In one case, a mother was investigated for telling a local school board “we are coming for you” — when she simply meant she and her cohorts intended “to replace the school board with new members through the electoral process,” as Jordan explained.
“Parents have an undisputed right to direct the upbringing and education of their children, which includes voicing their strong opposition to controversial curricula at local schools,” he stated.
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