Attorney General Merrick Garland admitted on Thursday that the basis for targeting and potentially charging parents concerned about what their children are learning in schools with domestic terrorism was a letter from the National School Boards Association, not real evidence.
“When did you first review the data showing this so-called disturbing uptick?” Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan asked during a House Judiciary hearing on Thursday.
“I read the letter, and we have been seeing over time—” Garland began before Jordan interrupted him.
“So you read the letter? That’s your source?” Jordan asked incredulously. “Is there some study, some effort, some investigation someone did that, said there’s been a disturbing uptick, or you just take the words of the National School Board Association?”
Garland then confirmed it wasn’t until NSBA contacted him that his department began to investigate claims of violence and terrorism.
“Well, the National School Board Association, which represents thousands of school boards and school board members, says that there are these kinds of threats. When we read in the newspapers reports of threats of violence—” Garland said before Jordan interjected again.
“The source for this … was the National School Boards Association letter,” Jordan reiterated before his time expired.
Biden AG Merrick Garland concedes that he started targeting parents for "possible domestic terrorism" because the NSBA sent a letter. pic.twitter.com/ZDvhZ6vDzO
— The First (@TheFirstonTV) October 21, 2021
The NSBA sent a letter to the Biden administration last month begging federal law enforcement to use domestic terrorism laws to target parents who oppose anti-science mask mandates for children and the infiltration of racist curriculum in schools. The school board organization claimed federal action was warranted to “deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation.”
Most of the incident examples the NSBA used to justify intervention by the Biden administration did not escalate to a level that even yielded arrests or charges on the local level, yet Garland quickly directed the FBI and state attorneys to address “a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s public schools.”
Multiple state school board associations reported that they were not consulted before the NSBA sent its letter to the Biden administration. While a handful of the state associations simply said they were unaware of the NSBA’s letter until it was published, most state groups condemned the national association’s request to use domestic terrorism laws to target parents and said the protests they’ve experienced have not warranted law enforcement involvement beyond the local and state level.
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association voted unanimously to withdraw from its parent organization in protest of the national organization’s political war on parents.
During his hearing, Garland also confirmed that no one involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot has been charged with “insurrection.”
Rep. @LouieGohmertTX1: "Has any defendant involved in the January 6th events been charged with insurrection?"
AG GARLAND: "I don't believe so."
GOHMERT: "Well that is the word most used by Democrats here on Capitol Hill." pic.twitter.com/pWIWtJKg7U
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) October 21, 2021