A whistleblower has leaked an FBI email to House Republicans showing that they are targeting parents concerned about the teaching of Critical Race Theory in schools with counterterrorism tools, following a memo from Attorney General Merrick Garland instructing them to do so.
At the end of September, the National School Boards Association addressed a letter to Joe Biden, demanding that parents who protested at school board meetings about anti-white Critical Race Theory should be labelled as “domestic terrorists” and be monitored by the FBI. As a result, Attorney General Merrick Garland directed the FBI to investigate the parents in a memo only a few days later. Later news reports revealed the letter from the NSBA was co-ordinated with the White House before publishing,
“While spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views,” the memo read, adding that “threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values.” No evidence of any violent threats has ever been presented.
Despite the instructions in the memo, when speaking to the House Judiciary Committee at the end of last month, Garland denied the FBI and Department of Justice were using counterterrorism tools to target concerned parents against CRT at school board meetings, and that he specifically could not “imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor… a circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorists.”
However, a whistleblower has now revealed an FBI email, dated October 20th, the day before Garland’s testimony, where the Criminal Investigative and Counterterrorism Divisions announced the creation of the new “EDUOFFICIALS” threat tag, citing the October 4 memo.
“We ask that your offices apply the threat tag to investigations and assessments of threats specifically directed against school board administrators, board members, teachers, and staff,” the email reads. “The purpose of the threat tag is to help scope this threat on a national level and provide an opportunity for comprehensive analysis of the threat picture for effective engagement with law enforcement partners at all levels.”
FROM THE WHISTLEBLOWER: pic.twitter.com/4IfJRPVKMk
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) November 16, 2021
In a letter from the Republican ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Representative Jim Jordan, Jordan argues that the email gives specific evidence that “federal law enforcement operationalized counterterrorism tools at the behest of a left-wing special interest group against concerned parents,” and that as much as Garland protested against it when speaking to the committee, “the FBI’s actions were an entirely foreseeable – and perhaps intended – result of [his] October 4 memorandum.”
Only a few days after Garland’s initial testimony, the NSBA formally disavowed and apologised for their original letter. “There was no justification for some of the language used in the letter,” they said, saying they were sorry for the “strain and stress” caused by the situation. Despite this, Garland has yet to withdraw the memo that was sparked off by the letter, Even though Garland yet to withdraw memo, even though House Republicans have already called on him to “fully and unequivocally” withdraw it.
Jordan argued that the evidence from the FBI whistleblower has thrown all of the Attorney General’s testimony into question, with a possibility that Garland “willfully misled the Committee” about the FBI’s actions. Jordan called on Garland to amend his testimony as to whether the Department of Justice “or any of its components has used or is using counterterrorism resources or tools for the purpose of investigating, tracking, or prosecuting threats relating to school board meetings.”
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