Attorney General Merrick Garland owes the American public a prompt and honest answer to the letter from Congressman Jim Jordan that is lighting up the newswires. It focuses on what the attorney general knew — and when he knew it — in respect of whether the FBI has been using “federal counter-terrorism tools” to target “concerned parents at local school board meetings.”
One might have thought this tawdry business was over and done, but Mr. Jordan pressed the question Tuesday in a blistering letter to Mr. Garland. On the letterhead of the House Judiciary Committee, the letter marked the receipt of what Mr. Jordan calls a “protected disclosure” from a Justice Department whistleblower “showing” that the FBI’s counterterrorism division is compiling threat assessments related to parents.
Plus, Mr. Jordan wrote, there is a document directing the FBI personnel to employ a specific “threat tag” to track “potential” investigations. Yet Mr. Jordan noted that, on October 21, Mr. Garland testified that the Justice Department and its “components” were not, as the congressman paraphrased Mr. Garland, “using counterterrorism statutes and resources to target concerned parents at school board meetings.”
Mr. Jordan’s letter proceeded to reprise more of General Garland’s testimony. He quoted Mr. Garland’s October 4 memo directing the FBI and other department components to address a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” at school board meetings. He sketched, too, how that memo followed the letter to President Biden from the National Association of School Boards.
That letter called, in so many words, for law enforcement to use against parents the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act. The letter, crafted in conjunction with the White House itself, was so over the top that the NASB sent Mr. Biden a letter apologizing for having written the misbegotten missive in the first place.
Mr. Jordan summed up by saying that “at best” the evidence suggests that Mr. Garland’s testimony was “incomplete.” If, however, “you were aware of the FBI’s actions at the time of your testimony,” the evidence from the whistleblower “shows that you willfully misled the Committee about the nature and extent of the Department’s use of federal counterterrorism tools to target concerned parents at school board meetings.”
Mr. Jordan copies the chairman of the Judiciary committee, Jerrold Nadler, one of the leftist extremists in the House, though a faltering figure. So long as the Democrats control the House, Mr. Nadler will block the committee from getting tough with Mr. Garland. Yet Republicans are a few seats away from regaining control. The administration’s siccing the FBI on parents deserves full exposure in the coming year.
It’s hard to remember an abuse of power more tin-eared — and premeditated — than Mr. Garland’s October 4 memo. Plus, too, Americans just saw, in the election in Virginia, the power of the issue of leftist educators insinuating themselves between pupils and their parents. Mr. Garland has given the Republicans a way to seize this issue on the national level as Americans once again prepare to go to the polls.