Did AG Merrick Garland sic the counterterrorism division on concerned parents?

We know that, after conferring with the White House, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent a letter to the White House claiming that parents angry at Critical Race Theory and pornography in schools were tantamount to domestic terrorists.  Attorney General Merrick Garland responded to the letter by promising to provide FBI support for school boards.  When called before the House, Garland swore that he never thought angry parents are domestic terrorists.  However, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee now assert that an email from an FBI whistleblower shows that Garland, at worst, lied and, at best, seriously misspoke.

The charges against Garland appear in a November 16 letter from Jim Jordan, the ranking member of the House's Committee on the Judiciary:

Because the letter is long, let me summarize it for you.  Jordan quotes Garland's testimony (under oath) to the effect that he could not "imagine any circumstances 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."  Garland also stated, "I do not think that parents getting angry at school boards for whatever reason constitute domestic terrorism.  It's not even a close question."

The whistleblower evidence, however, is an email created one day before Garland testified.  In that email, says Jordan, Garland himself "referenced your October 4 directive to the FBI to address school board threats and notified FBI personnel about a new 'threat tag' created by the Counterterrorism and Criminal Divisions."  That statement, along with other directives, led Jordan to conclude, "This disclosure provides specific evidence that federal law enforcement operationalized counterterrorism tools at the behest of a left-wing special interest group against concerned parents."


Image: Garland testifies before the House Judiciary Committee (edited in befunky).  YouTube screen grab.

While the NSBA later apologized for its statement about parents and request for federal assistance, writes Jordan, Garland "stubbornly refused to rescind your directive, even though you testified that the NSBA letter was the basis for your October 4 memorandum [promising FBI help against parents]."

Jordan states that the whistleblower's evidence, when compared to Garland's testimony, leads to only two questions: ignorance or willfully misleading the Judiciary Committee.  Jordan offers Garland the chance to amend his testimony and reiterates the request that Garland produce documents showing the DOJ's and FBI's activities in order "to independently verify the truthfulness of your testimony and to investigate this matter further[.]"

Meanwhile, in Forth Worth, Texas, at a school board meeting about Critical Race Theory in schools, a man named Malikk Austin warned attendees that if CRT is removed from the schools, "I got over 1,000 soldiers ready to go."  He also informed people that these soldiers were "locked and loaded."  Now, that sounds like a threat but so far, Merrick Garland, the DOJ, and the FBI have said nothing at all about it.

The FBI recently indicted Steve Bannon for contempt of Congress.  It's to be hoped that when (if) Republicans retake the White House and Congress, they apply the new standards Democrats have set and indict Garland for his bald-faced lies to Congress.  Now that the Democrats have put in place new rules, game theory says that, moving forward, the Republicans play by those new rules so brutally that the Democrats beg to reset the game to the former, more civilized standards.

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