By Bethany Blankley (Central Square)
Although U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland testified under oath that the U.S. Justice Department did not target parents after he directed it to do so last fall, a whistleblower has provided evidence to the House Judiciary Committee that the FBI actually Parents are being investigated.
In a letter to Garland, U.S. Republican Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mike Johnson of Louisiana wrote They have evidence that contradicts his testimony before the committee last year.
In October, Garland released a memo about a “surge in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff,” directing the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies to monitor parent and school activity National Board.
He did so in response to the National Association of School Boards asking the federal government to use counterterrorism tools, including the Patriot Act, against parents. In an Oct. 20 email, the FBI’s counterterrorism and criminal divisions announced that they had created a new threat tag for their internal systems to label parents, the congressman noted in the letter. called “education officials”. The email instructs all FBI personnel to apply this label to all “school board-related threats.”
When asked about the memo by the House Judiciary Committee last October, Garland said under oath: “I can’t imagine the circumstances under which the Patriot Act would be used when a parent complains about a child, and I can’t imagine it would. What happens. They’re going to be labeled as domestic terrorism.”
Immediately after the memo was released, the coalition of attorneys general called on Garland to rescind the memo and produce documents related to the memorandum’s directive. They maintain that Garland has provided no evidence of any surge in parental threats to school staff and that the Justice Department’s actions against parents were abusive and unconstitutional.they have not received a response to their letter or request for information, and sue March.
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, who leads the coalition, said: “Instead of cooperating, the Biden administration is trying to cover up and downplay their guilt. What are they hiding? Why aren’t they clean?”
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Jordan said the answer from “brave whistleblowers” is that the FBI has launched investigations related to all types of educational settings in nearly every region of the country.
“We have received information on how, as a direct result of your directives, federal law enforcement is using counterterrorism resources to investigate activities protected by the First Amendment,” the congressman wrote.
In one investigation, the FBI opened a file involving mothers of Florida Moms Free, according to representatives. The document also states that the mother is a legal gun owner. The mother, who was interviewed by an FBI agent, said she was disturbed by the school board’s mask mandate and wanted to replace the school board with new members through the election process.
Another investigation has been launched into a father who objected to wearing masks, according to MPs. An investigation into a Republican official came after a Democrat accused the official of inciting violence for opposing the school district’s vaccine mandate.
The information, the congressman said, was “shocking. You’ve put these parents under the FBI’s investigation, built FBI case files that included their political views, and put a “threat label” on their name, which is a direct result of their exercise of the fundamental constitutional rights they speak for and advocate for their children.”
Members of Congress have directed Garland to provide material to the committee immediately.
The moms of Freedom founders Tiffany Justice and Tina Deskovich have released a statement Said: “This whistleblower letter should be a wake-up call for every mom in our country. We now have evidence that many of us suspected and some of us knew: the Department of Justice is using Counterterrorism powers to investigate grievances by parents of schoolchildren who are exercising their First Amendment rights to petition local governments.
“We at Moms for Liberty have firsthand knowledge of the first example Jim Jordan cited because, as the whistleblower said, she was one of our members. Mom was horrified. The FBI has contacted her. The FBI told her not to say anything about the call. She was also told there were many other mothers under investigation.
“Everyone’s freedom of speech is at risk when the federal government uses our own taxpayer dollars to use federal resources and federal officials to investigate law-abiding parents who attend public meetings and speak their minds. We have the right to ask questions of public officials and Hold public officials accountable.”
Justice and Descovich said their group is educating mothers about their basic rights. But they also warned that while it happened to one of their members, it could happen to “anyone”.