This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, March 24, 2023:
According to the interim report released on Tuesday by the House Committee on the Judiciary and its Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, there is more than enough evidence to prove that the National School Boards Association (NSBA), working in coordination with the Biden administration, created out of whole cloth the pressing need for federal investigation of parents. Twenty-five of those parents were investigated, said the committee, but no charges were brought, indicating that the entire outrage was “manufactured” with no “legitimate basis,” according to the committee.
It was all politics, designed to intimidate parents who protested what they perceived to be major educational issues that were brought to light during the Covid-inspired lockdowns.
From the report:
From the initial set of material produced in response to the subpoenas [issued by the committee], it is apparent that the Biden Administration misused federal law-enforcement and counterterrorism resources for political purposes.
The Justice Department’s own documents demonstrate that there was no compelling nationwide law-enforcement justification for the Attorney General’s directive or the Department components’ execution thereof.
Instead, the weaponization of the DOJ was clearly done for political purposes:
It appears, from these documents and the information received previously, that the Administration’s actions were a political offensive meant to quell swelling discord over controversial education curricula and unpopular school board decisions.
For proof, the committee noted that after those 25 “investigations” of what the NSBA suggested might be “domestic terrorists” were completed, not a single charge of any federal crime was made against them:
According to the FBI, none of the school board-related investigations have resulted in federal arrests or charges, highlighting the political motives behind the Attorney General’s actions. The Administration’s goal seems to have been silencing the critics of its radical education policies….
The report concluded:
Internal Executive Branch documents indicate that the Biden Administration’s use of federal law-enforcement and counterterrorism resources is an example of government weaponization against American parents.
If the Justice Department performed any due diligence prior to the issuance of the Attorney General’s memorandum, it would have understood clearly and forcefully that federal intervention was unwarranted.
Because that due diligence did not occur—and the Administration acted out of political motivations rather than for law-enforcement reasons—parents around the country had FBI “assessments” opened into them.
It was a political act from start to finish. The committee repeatedly asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to rescind the weaponization letter, but he has refused to do so. Further, the White House continues to stall in responding to the committee’s demands for more background on its conversations with the NSBA prior to the inflammatory letter it sent to the White House, and the fact that just days after receiving it, Garland issued his weaponization letter.
That means that the weaponry against anyone who might be considered a “domestic terrorist” in the future remains in place.
It was the NSBA letter that ignited the flame. On Wednesday, September 19, 2021, Viola Garcia and Chip Slaven, president and CEO of the group, respectively, signed off on the letter (without, it should be noted, approval from members of the board):
America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) respectfully asks for federal law enforcement and other assistance to deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation.…
NSBA believes immediate assistance is required….
On the following Monday, October 4, Garland issued his weaponization letter in response to the NSBA’s demand:
Today Attorney General Merrick B. Garland directed the FBI and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to meet in the next 30 days with federal, state, Tribal, territorial and local law enforcement leaders to discuss strategies for addressing this disturbing trend.…
By this order, Garland weaponized the agencies under his command to go after American citizens who were exercising their First Amendment rights:
According to the Attorney General’s memorandum, the Justice Department will launch a series of additional efforts in the coming days designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel.
Those efforts are expected to include the creation of a task force, consisting of representatives from the department’s Criminal Division, National Security Division, Civil Rights Division, the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, the FBI, the Community Relations Service and the Office of Justice Programs, to determine how federal enforcement tools can be used to prosecute these crimes, and ways to assist state, Tribal, territorial and local law enforcement where threats of violence may not constitute federal crimes.
That Garland’s letter was sent without any oversight or review by lawyers in his office was revealed by America First Legal (AFL), which obtained records showing that those lawyers were “blindsided” by the letter. Said AFL’s Vice President and General Counsel Gene Hamilton:
We have known all along that the timeline at issue — a letter to the President followed by an Attorney General memorandum within days — indicated that the underlying premise for the memorandum was … fake….
The report issued by the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government and the House Judiciary Committee this week confirms our assertions about the Attorney General’s memorandum.
And now, the records we are revealing today further show that the memo blindsided the FBI.
The House committee’s work is far from done:
The Committee’s and the Select Subcommittee’s work is not complete.
This oversight will continue as the Justice Department and the Education Department continue to produce responsive documents.
In addition, the FBI has produced only fourteen pages of documents to date in response to the Committee’s subpoena—a flagrant disregard of the serious concerns about the Bureau’s misuse of its authorities against parents.
There remain open questions about the development and issuance of Attorney General Garland’s memorandum—issued only five days after receipt of the NSBA’s letter to President Biden—and the coordination between the Justice Department and White House on that point.
There remain open questions about how the FBI quickly operationalized the Attorney General’s directive, and whether the Bureau objected to the civil liberty concerns inherent in the Attorney General’s memorandum.
The Committee has outstanding subpoenas for testimony from Chip Slaven and Viola Garcia, [the] senior NSBA officials who signed the letter to President Biden.
Until all responsive documents are produced and interviews with the necessary parties take place, the Committee and the Select Subcommittee will continue its oversight to uncover facts that will inform potential legislative reforms.
This stalling by the DOJ and Garland’s refusal to rescind the incendiary letter weaponizing his agency against American citizens exercising their First Amendment rights are all the proof one needs to know that the entire exercise was political in nature. It was designed from the start to turn off the outrage those citizens were expressing once they learned, thanks to the Covid shutdowns, just how schools were radicalizing their children.