‘Extensive Collusion’: House Committee Report Confirms DOJ Targeting of Parents
The Department of Justice “extensively colluded” with a special interest group to “manufacture” a supposedly sweeping threat against school personnel posed by parents, a House Subcommittee interim staff report has found. Experts say the findings further confirm what DOJ officials have denied — that the government worked behind the scenes to undermine a grassroots movement of outspoken parents concerned about their children being exposed to controversial racial and gender theories and mask mandates at school.
On Tuesday, the House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government released its findings regarding the controversial memo issued by Attorney General Merrick Garland in October 2021 to “federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement,” in which he ordered the FBI to coordinate investigations of parents due to an alleged “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.”
The subcommittee report reveals that the National School Boards Association (NSBA) “collaborated with the Biden White House to develop the language of the NSBA’s September 29, 2021 letter to President Biden urging the use of federal law enforcement and counterterrorism tools, including the Patriot Act, against parents.” The NSBA letter suggested that parents should be investigated for “domestic terrorism and hate crimes,” which it later apologized for.
Five days after the NSBA letter was sent to Biden, Garland issued the contentious memo. Two weeks later, the FBI’s Counterterrorism and Criminal Divisions announced the creation of a new threat tag for the investigation — “EDUOFFICIALS.” One related investigation by an FBI field office targeted “a dad opposed to mask mandates” who “fit the profile of an insurrectionist.” When the FBI interviewed the complainant who reported the dad, they admitted they had “no specific information or observations of . . . any crimes or threats.”
As a direct result of Garland’s memo, the report found that federal law enforcement used “counterterrorism resources to investigate protected First Amendment activity.” The FBI later revealed that it had “opened 25 ‘Guardian assessments’ with the EDUOFFICIALS threat tag.” Of these 25 investigations, “the FBI determined that only one warranted opening a ‘Full Investigation,’ and referred the majority of the remaining cases to state and local authorities. There have still been no federal prosecutions.”
The report went on to note that “[t]he overwhelming majority of judicial districts reported not having heard of any instances of threats or violence being levied at school board officials. One U.S. Attorney reported that threats against school officials was ‘described by some as a manufactured issue.’” It also observed that local law enforcement officials around the country “warned of ‘misapplied’ federal law-enforcement priorities, and local officials generally opposed federal intervention at local school board meetings.”
The subcommittee report concluded that the DOJ failed to perform “any due diligence prior to the issuance of the Attorney General’s memorandum.” If the department had done this, the report asserts, “it would have understood clearly and forcefully that federal intervention was unwarranted.” As a result, the report noted, “parents around the country had FBI ‘assessments’ opened into them.”
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill like Congressman Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) are conveying relief at the prospect Garland’s potential exit in 2025.
“I think this demonstrates to people across our country how fortunate we are that Merrick Garland is not sitting on the Supreme Court bench right now, because that was what was proposed under the Obama administration,” he observed on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” Wednesday. “And then he would be making these decisions for life right now. As problematic as this is, at least we can assume that as soon as the Biden administration term has ended, that Merrick Garland’s term also will end.”
Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council, expressed alarm at the report’s findings while also encouraging resolve on the part of parents.
“This report confirms all our worst suspicions,” she told The Washington Stand. “The degree to which the government has been used to attack parents at the behest of education bureaucrats who are supposed to serve children and families cannot be overstated. Parents knew this by instinct — that the powerful were working together to advance their own interests instead of working for the good of children and families. And they have no problem exercising Gestapo-like tactics on parents, while advancing progressive policies inside schools that amount to lawless chaos for children and teachers.”
“Christians must engage — we must not allow ourselves to be intimidated by these tactics,” Kilgannon concluded.
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.