If whistleblowers are telling GOP members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee the truth, Attorney General Merrick Garland was lying to Congress when he denied parents were being targeted with counterterrorism investigations for the “crime” of getting angry at school board meetings.
On Oct. 21, 2021, Garland told a Congressional hearing, “I can’t imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor can I imagine a circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorism.”
But whistleblowers told GOP members of the House Judiciary Committee that that’s exactly what Garland did. Indeed, the witnesses say, “dozens” of people were investigated using the Patriot Act counterterrorism tools at the FBI’s disposal.
Ultimately, charges weren’t pursued, note the GOP senators in a letter they sent to Attorney General Garland on Wednesday. But the FBI subjected “these moms and dads to the opening of an FBI investigation about them, the establishment of an FBI case file that includes their political views, and the application of a ‘threat tag’ to their names as a direct result of their exercise of their fundamental constitutional right to speak and advocate for their children.”
The targeted parents had generally spoken out against school COVID-19 mandates for vaccines and masks. As the letter to Garland put it, the FBI used “counterterrorism resources to investigate protected First Amendment activity.”
Each of the parents, who were “found in almost every region of the country and relating to all types of educational settings,” was identified with the “EDUOFFICIALS,” threat tag, the lawmakers wrote. “The information we have received shows how, as a direct result of your directive, federal law enforcement is using counterterrorism resources to investigate protected First Amendment activity,” they said. The letter was signed by Reps. Jim Jordan, the ranking member of the committee, and Mike Johnson, the ranking member of the subcommittee on civil rights and civil liberties.
The FBI opened investigations into parents based on tips on a “National Threat Operations Center snitch line,” according to the letter, which gave three examples.
🚨 SMOKING GUN: Whistleblowers reveal the FBI has labeled dozens of investigations into parents with a threat tag created by the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division pic.twitter.com/uDMd7x1no3
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) May 11, 2022
Democrats in an unidentified state legislature used the “snitch line” to report political differences with their Republican counterparts. The referrals were made “over allegations from a state Democratic party official that the Republicans ‘incited violence’ by expressing public displeasure with school districts’ vaccine mandates. This complaint also came into the FBI through the National Threat Operations Center snitch-line.”
In another example, a man who was described as fitting “the profile of an insurrectionist” was investigated because he was unhappy about mandates and also possessed a gun. The congressmen’s letter said the FBI took seriously claims that the man “rails against the government,” “believes all conspiracy theories,” and “has a lot of guns and threatens to use them.” But after the investigation was opened and the threat tag attached to the man’s name, an agent spoke to the caller only to discover “the complainant admitted they had ‘no specific information or observations of . . . any crimes or threats.’” They called the snitch line after learning the Justice Department had a website “to submit tips to the FBI in regards to any concerning behavior directed toward school boards.”
Jordan and Johnson provided one more example out of the “dozens” they claim took place. A tipster to the “snitch line” dropped a dime on an “anti-mandate mom” and the FBI field office went after her “for allegedly telling a local school board ‘we are coming for you.’” The letter further described that “the complaint, which came into the FBI through the National Threat Operations Center snitch-line, alleged that the mom was a threat because she belonged to a ‘right-wing mom’s group’ known as ‘Moms for Liberty’ and because she ‘is a gun owner.’” The terror mom told the FBI agents she meant she would work to replace the school board members in an election.
Not everyone is Al Queda or ISIS, Merrick Garland.
The letter demanded Garland turn over “all documents and materials identified in our letters to Departmental components dated November 1, 2021, November 2, 2021, November 3, 2021, and November 18, 2021, immediately,” and preserve all records.
Jordan said he was shocked at President Biden’s “misuse of law-enforcement resources to target concerned parents since last fall.”
Jordan told Fox News that it has always been “startling” that the contrived complaint brought by the National School Boards Association at the behest of the White House and turned into a counterterrorism investigation was all done within 22 days. “They moved that fast because they were going after people. It’s as wrong as it gets.”