U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland lied to Congress when he insisted the FBI was not targeting concerned parents at school board meetings as possible “domestic terrorists,” charged a Republican congressman.
“This brings that really to a point that Attorney General Garland basically perjured himself in front of Congress and should really face the consequences before this,” said Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., in a Fox News interview Wednesday.
“The mama bears woke up and saw what was being done to their children, and that is not wrong for them to speak out,” he said of parents protesting Critical Race Theory and mask mandates.
Murphy cited an internal FBI email provided by a whistleblower that surfaced Tuesday indicating the bureau applied a “threat tag” to concerned parents. The email contradicts Garland’s Oct. 21 sworn testimony to the House Judiciary Committee in which he said he could not “imagine any circumstance” in which parents exercising their First Amendment rights would be regarded as “domestic terrorists.”
Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C. — appearing with Murphy on “Fox & Friends” — said “it is vital that Attorney General Garland come back and answer more questions.”
“He did not say it didn’t happen. He said, I cannot imagine it happening. So there are many, many ways not to answer a question and not tell the truth,” the Congress member said.
On Tuesday, Rep. Jim Jordan R-Ohio, the GOP leader on the House Judiciary Committee, informed Garland in a letter that House Republicans had obtained whistleblower documents that show the FBI used its counterterrorism division to investigate and place “threat tags” on parents.
Also on Tuesday, Jordan and Foxx, the ranking member on the House Committee on Education and Labor, sent a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona demanding that he turn over all communications regarding the issue.
The House Republicans want any communications Carmona’s department had with the National School Boards Association (NSBA), the Department of Justice and the White House regarding the Sept. 29 letter NSBA sent to President Biden asking him to investigate parents who challenge school board as possible “domestic terrorists.”
Jordan and Foxx said in their letter they are “continuing to investigate the troubling attempts by the Biden Administration to use the heavy hand of federal law enforcement to target concerned parents at local school board meetings and chill their protected First Amendment activity.”
The Republican lawmakers noted to Carmona that he testified last month to a Senate committee “that parents should not be the ‘primary stakeholder’ in their children’s education.”
“At the time of your statement, the Biden Administration, including the Education Department, was colluding with the National School Boards Association (NSBA) to orchestrate federal law enforcement action against concerned parents,” they wrote.
The NSBA, in its Sept. 29 letter to Biden, said “malice, violence, and threats” against school officials “could be the equivalent of a form of domestic terrorism or hate crimes.” The association urged Biden to utilize federal laws such as the Patriot Act to determine if parents who display passion in exercising their First Amendment rights at school board meetings are “domestic terrorists.”
Jordan and Foxx pointed out the NSBA cited in its letter as an example of domestic terrorism “an incident in which a father angrily confronted members at a school board meeting in Loudoun County, Virginia, about the heinous sexual assault of his daughter.”
On Sept. 14, two weeks before the letter to Biden, NSBA officials met with the White House, according to an internal memo from NSBA President Viola Garcia to her state executive directors.
Garcia wrote that NSBA “has been actively engaged with the White House, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Education, Surgeon General, and other federal agencies.”
Jordan noted in his letter to Garland that just five days after the NSBA’s Sept. 29 letter, the AG issued a memo directing the FBI and other departmental components to address a purported “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence” at school board meetings.
However, shortly before Garland’s Oct. 21 testimony to the House panel, NSBA officials issued a follow-up letter saying they “regret and apologize” for the Sept. 29 letter calling parents “domestic terrorists” and “there was no justification for some of the language” that was used.
On Wednesday, Jordan used his opening remarks in a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 to spotlight the new information contradicting Garland’s testimony last month.
Jordan cited the email to FBI agents in which the bureau put a “threat tag” on parents.
Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones of New York rebuked Jordan, accusing him of “distracting” from the subject at hand and “leveling spurious allegations” against Garland.
“We’ve seen a lot of low behavior in this committee this year, but very few things compare to distracting from the very harrowing experiences shared with us yesterday and the important work we’re doing to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” Jones said. “By leveling spurious allegations against the Attorney General of the United States — I think the people on this committee are all better than that and I would encourage us to be focused on this important issue.”
See Jordan’s remarks Nov. 17 to the House panel:
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