Coweta County School Board Member Linda Menk, a 71-year-old grandmother who lives in the rural community 40 miles southwest of Atlanta, says she was paid a visit by a pair of FBI agents for attending former President Donald Trump’s now-infamous D.C. rally on Jan. 6.
“It wasn’t festive, but it was friendly,” Menk said of the rally, telling The Federalist she remained on the outskirts of the crowd at Trump’s White House speech, standing on the grounds of the Washington Monument to watch the jumbotron from afar. “That was kind of where we camped out so-to-speak,” attending with a group she met in her hotel the night before since she got separated from those she drove from Georgia with.
After a few hours, Menk said she opted to go back to her hotel alone on M Street north of the George Washington University campus and watch the tabulation of the Electoral College vote on television. Menk told The Federalist she left around 12:45 p.m., about 10 minutes before the first Capitol barriers were breached.
“I had no cell phone service, I couldn’t pull up a map, I didn’t see another living soul,” Menk told The Federalist of her early walk back in frigid temperatures.
She safely made it to her hotel in the early afternoon despite the obstacles, and the friends she brought from Georgia returned around 5 p.m. Some had gone to the Capitol.
As the group carpooled back to Georgia, Menk said, outraged was ensuing at the virulent images from the Capitol broadcast nationwide to indict any who were present. It led to a second presidential impeachment of the man who one year prior had survived his first.
In Coweta County, Menk’s presence became the center of controversy by local Black Lives Matter activists who demanded Menk’s resignation for her participation in the peaceful protest.
“Just FYI. I’m here in DC for the Trump March,” Menk wrote on her Facebook page on Jan. 6. “These people your seeing on TV who supposedly stormed the capitol do NOT look like the peaceful marchers.”
The next local school board meeting on Jan. 12 erupted with left-wing activists branding Menk an insurrectionist who should be forcibly removed from the board.
“I have difficulty believing she was just in Capitol Hill to hear the loser of the last election speak,” said one person Joshua, according to 11Alive News, despite Menk’s assertion she never stepped foot on Capitol grounds.
Several days later, Menk told The Federalist, she was paid a visit by a pair of FBI agents who were sent by calls from local activists. Menk, a mother of two sons and grandmother to four, said the two agents at first appeared suspicious with business cards reviewed by The Federalist featuring hand-written phone numbers over blotches of white-out.
When neither would reveal their badge numbers and offered no warrant, Menk instructed the two to remain where they were so she could phone an attorney. Menk was advised to return to the front porch with her phone on speaker, and then instruct the agents they would re-arrange a time to meet alongside legal counsel.
Menk later paid a visit to the FBI office in Columbus, Ga., with the criminal defense attorney David Helmick. The two agents, Menk said, told her they were not planning to arrest or charge her, but just wanted to interview her. Helmick described the interview as “courteous, professional and open.”
“There was never any indication at any point that Linda was a target,” Helmick told The Federalist.
The two agents showed Menk images of the supposed pipe bomber who had planted explosives at the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee headquarters on Jan. 5. No suspects have yet been convicted in the case.
In the FBI interview, Menk outlined her involvement in the rally, telling the FBI where she was and when.
“You can verify everything I am telling you,” she told them, recalling one agent tell the other, “she would not have seen him based on where she was.”
The agents then asked to go off-record, she said. She looked at her attorney, and he nodded. Menk said the agents first asked whether she ever felt threatened, and she responded with the time she walked back to her hotel alone.
“I said I could have been slaughtered in the street and no one would have heard me,” Menk told The Federalist.
The second was what she thought should happen to those who stormed the Capitol complex that day. Menk said she complained about the billions in damage wrought by left-wing anarchists nationwide over last year: “You guys have done absolutely nothing.”
“So when I see you starting to hold those people accountable, then we can talk about what happened on Jan. 6,” she said. The agents cut off the interview there.
Menk told The Federalist the FBI has not contacted her since. The FBI dismissed The Federalist’s inquiries. Her investigation, neither confirmed or denied by the bureau, would be consistent with Department of Justice efforts to hunt down and prosecute those in D.C. from crimes such as trespassing that day while dropping cases against Portland terrorists.
At the next month’s school board meeting, Menk was provided a police escort while leftist activists remained up in arms over her presence at Trump’s January rally, outraged she had not been removed for exercising the same rights as those who oppose her. Her removal could only be accomplished by recall. First elected in 2013, Menk is running for a third term to begin next year.
“What really bothers me,” she says, “is this accusation that I’m a racist.”
Menk will be 72 in November. She still vividly remembers Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic dream speech, and her father supported integration. For 40 years, she has hosted kids of “every gender, every race, every ethnic origin you can imagine,” and “I’ve never even heard a cross word among these children… Our kids got it. Dr. King’s dream is a reality.”
Menk emphasized the Capitol protests are a “horrible reflection of a vast majority of the people in this county.”