A Republican lawmaker has accused Attorney General Merrick Garland of perjuring himself for denying that the FBI targeted parents when it took on the task of helping surveil local school board meetings.
Garland last month directed FBI agents and federal prosecutors to assist school board members who worried about parents showing at their meetings to complain about issues such as mask mandates, transgender permissiveness, and Critical Race Theory indoctrination.
The directive came in response to a letter to President Joe Biden by the National School Boards Association, which claimed “threats” against public officials were rising at such meetings. The group accused parents of “domestic terrorism.”
The public has since learned that the association worked with the White House to draft the letter, and that it was sent by association staff without oversight of the group’s board or endorsement of many state-level chapters. The board subsequently apologized for its staff going rogue and the letter has been removed from its website.
Now, however, Rep. Greg Murphy of North Carolina has added to the growing controversy by accusing Garland of lying.
Back in October, Garland testified under oath that he could not “imagine any circumstance 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.”
“I do not think that parents getting angry at school boards for whatever reason constitute domestic terrorism,” Garland added. “It’s not even a close question.”
Yet on Tuesday, GOP Rep. Jim Jordan noted in a letter to Garland that a whistleblower leaked documents revealing that Garland knew the FBI was doing just that. The FBI’s counterterrorism crew added “threat tags” to alleged reports of violence directed at school board members in order to track the cases.
“The purpose of the threat tag 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,” the leaked letter said.
Congressman Murphy on Wednesday said the letter was proof of Garland’s duplicity.
“This brings that really to a point that Attorney General Garland basically perjured himself in front of Congress and should really face the consequences before this,” Murphy said during an interview with Fox News.
Murphy is not alone.
In his letter about the whistleblower, Jordan wrote Garland that his testimony lacked “accuracy and completeness,” and that unless he can prove otherwise, his comments to lawmakers indicate he “willfully misled” Congress about what the FBI was actually doing.
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