The Twitter feed for the Republican members of the House Committee on the Judiciary published whistleblower documents which show that Attorney General Merrick Garland has directed United States Attorneys and the FBI to coordinate with local law enforcement to track “threats specifically directed against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.”
In an attached letter to Garland, ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio., said that the disclosure “calls into question” AG Garland’s claim before the Judiciary Committee on Oct. 21 that “the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation were not using federal counterterrorism tools to target concerned parents at local school board meetings.”
The whistleblower document, an FBI memo dated Oct. 20, directs federal law enforcement to apply a “threat tag” created by the Counterterrorism and Criminal Division to “investigations and assessments of threats specifically directed against school board administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.”
“The purpose of the tag,” the memo continues, “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.”
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) November 16, 2021
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, the FBI claimed that the bureau “has never been in the business of investigating parents who speak out or policing speech at school board meetings, and we are not going to start now. We are fully committed to preserving and protecting First Amendment rights, including freedom of speech.”
The FBI also rejected the implication that a “threat tag” amounts to a counterterrorism tool, describing it instead as “a tool to compile statistics and track information about a range of issues, including drug and human-trafficking cases”
In early October Garland called upon the FBI to investigate angry parents as if they were “domestic terrorists” after the White House and DOJ colluded with the National School Boards Association to produce its since-retracted letter pleading for the federal government’s help.