In recent days, the education association that referred to concerned parents at school board meetings as “domestic terrorists” has apologized for its comments. Its subordinate groups in 19 states have distanced themselves from the allegation, and rejected the request for federal intervention in local education matters.
Yet U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland refuses to disband the task force he formed to look into alleged violence at those meetings, citing “news reports” of such cases as the reason to continue.
Now, House Republicans want to go around Garland for answers.
In a letter dated Thursday to Democratic Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, the GOP lawmakers want the Judiciary Committee to uncover why federal authorities are “targeting concerned parents at school board meetings.”
More specifically, they want to know why the Justice Department’s National Security Division, formed to fight actual terrorists, is leading this charge.
The National Security Division, they wrote, was created under the Patriot Act. Its stated mission is to “protect the United States from threats to our national security,” largely by coordination between federal prosecutors and law enforcement agencies, and the Intelligence Community.
“It is unclear what threat the Department believes American parents pose to our national security, nor why the Department could view any threat posed by parents as requiring coordination with our foreign intelligence agencies,” the GOP lawmakers wrote.
Unfortunately, they add, Garland was unable or unwilling to explain why he involved the National Security Division in his “ill-conceived endeavor.”
Accordingly, they want Nadler to bring in Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko, the head of the National Security Division, “so we can get to the bottom of the Biden Administration’s attack on concerned parents.”
“Concerned parents voicing their strong opposition to controversial curricula at local schools are not domestic terrorists. Parents have an undisputed right to direct the upbringing and education of their children,” the Republicans wrote.
“When parents, however, cross the line to commit a violent act or issue a criminal threat, state and local authorities are best-equipped to handle these violations of state law. But we must not tolerate the use of the federal law enforcement apparatus to intimidate and silence parents using their Constitutional rights to advocate for their child’s future.”
Among the 19 Republicans who signed the letter were Florida Reps. Matt Gaetz and Greg Steube.
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