Republican Reps. Jim Jordan and Mike Johnson say they have evidence that the FBI targeted parents who protested schools’ COVID policies despite assurances from Attorney General Merrick Garland that it never happened.
Are we surprised that Garland allegedly lied and that the FBI used illegal tactics to bully parents to protect the public school districts? Not one damn bit especially with what we know regarding the FBI’s involvement in the Jan. 6th “Insurrection”.
According to Fox News, in a letter addressed to the Justice Department, Jordan and Johnson said they have evidence that the FBI labeled dozens of investigations into parents with a threat tag created by the bureau’s Counterterrorism Division to assess and track investigations related to school boards. The evidence comes from “brave whistleblowers” within the Department of Justice, they say in the letter addressed to Attorney General Garland.
If we remember back in September 2021, The National School Boards Association (NBSA) sent a letter to the Biden administration comparing parents who protested school’s COVID policies to domestic terrorists. Five days later, the DOJ issued a memo directing the FBI to investigate threats to school boards.
An internal email from the FBI’s criminal and counterterrorism divisions instructed agents to apply the threat tag “EDUOFFICIALS” to all investigations and assessments of threats directed specifically at education officials.
Jordan and Johnson, citing a whistleblower, said the FBI opened investigations with the EDUOFFICIALS threat in every region of the country and relating to all types of educational settings.
The lawmakers cited several examples where someone reported a parent, or a state elected official using the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center including a mother of a student who was interviewed by the FBI for allegedly telling a school board member “we are coming for you.” The person reported the mom because she belonged to a “right-wing mom’s group” called “Moms for Liberty” and because she is a gun owner.
In testimony before Congress in October 2021, Garland told lawmakers that his Department of Justice had not deployed antiterrorism tools against parents protesting the actions of school boards. “I can’t imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor can I imagine a circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorism,” he said at the time.