According to new allegations by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), whistleblowers within the Department of Justice (DOJ) report that Attorney General Merrick Garland lied under oath to Congress in September when he said the FBI was not targeting anti-mandate parents.
In October, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent a letter asking the DOJ to root out parents who disagreed with COVID-19 restrictions on children, calling them “domestic terrorists”. The DOJ then indeed issued a memo to the FBI, instructing the bureau's counterterrorism division to investigate such parents as domestic terrorists.
It was discovered in January that the Department of Education had secretly asked the NSBA to initiate the request with the Justice Department.
When hauled before the House Judiciary Committee in October, however, Garland testified that the FBI were not surveilling nor investigating parents.
"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," he said at the time.
But according to internal emails provided by DOJ whistleblowers, the FBI investigated numerous parents and added the threat tag EDUOFFICIALS to any threat against education officials, including school board members.
In a letter addressed to Garland Wednesday, Jordan and Johnson appeared to accuse the attorney general of lying under oath.
“In sworn testimony before this Committee, you denied that the Department of Justice or its components were using counterterrorism statutes and resources to target parents at school board meetings,” the letter began. “We now have evidence that contrary to your testimony, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has labeled at least dozens of investigations into parents with a threat tag created by the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division to assess and track investigations related to school boards.”
In one instance, the FBI interrogated a father who opposed the school masking his child. The father was reported for being an “insurrectionist” who “rails against the government”, though the informant later admitted that the father had not committed any actual crimes.
In another state, a state Democratic official reported several Republican elected officials for “inciting violence” by opposing vaccine mandates.
In another case, the FBI investigated a mother who warned the school board they would be replaced over their forced masking of children and said “we’re coming for you”. The mother was reported for being part of a “right wing mom’s group” called Moms for Liberty and being a gun owner.
“These cases include investigations into parents upset about mask mandates and state elected officials who publicly voiced opposition to vaccine mandates," continued the letter. “These investigations into concerned parents are the direct result of, and would not have occurred but for, your directive to federal law enforcement to target these categories of people.”
The representatives then called out the Biden administration for its harassment of political dissidents.
“This information is evidence of how the Biden Administration is using federal law enforcement, including counterterrorism resources, to investigate concerned parents for protected First Amendment activity.”