House Judiciary report: ‘No legitimate basis’ for Biden admin to target parents at school board meetings
EXCLUSIVE: Subpoenaed documents showed there was ‘no legitimate basis’ for the Biden administration to use federal law enforcement and counterterrorism resources on school board-related threats, the House Judiciary Committee claimed in its interim report on the controversial issue exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital.
The House Judiciary Committee and its subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government completed an interim staff report in its investigation, which alleges the Biden administration targeted parents at school board meetings who were ‘voicing concerns about controversial curricula and education-related policies.’
The GOP-led committee subpoenaed Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and members of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) for documents related to the investigation.
‘From the initial set of material produced in response to the subpoenas, it is apparent that the Biden administration misused federal law-enforcement and counterterrorism resources for political purposes,’ the report states.
The report said DOJ’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.’
The committee was referring to Garland’s October 2021 memo, which directed the FBI to partner with local law enforcement and U.S. attorneys to discuss parental threats at school board meetings against faculty and ‘prosecute them when appropriate.’
Garland’s memo came after a September 2021 NSBA letter to President Biden requesting federal law enforcement assistance to target parents.
‘After surveying local law enforcement, U.S. Attorney’s offices around the country reported back to Main Justice that there was no legitimate law-enforcement basis for the Attorney General’s directive to use federal law-enforcement and counterterrorism resources to investigate school board-related threats,’ the report said.
The report said the FBI acknowledged that it opened ’25 ‘Guardian assessments’ of school board threats, and that six of these investigations were run by the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division.’
‘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 report said.
The report claims the Biden administration’s ‘goal’ was to silence the critics of ‘its radical education policies and neutralizing an issue that was threatening Democrat Party prospects’ ahead of the close Virginia gubernatorial election in November 2021.
‘This weaponization of law-enforcement powers against American parents exercising their First Amendment rights is dangerous,’ the report saId. ‘The Justice Department subjected 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 committee has previously called on Garland to rescind his October 2021 memo, but lawmakers said Garland has ‘refused to do so.’
‘From the documents and information received pursuant to the subpoena, it is crystal clear that Attorney General Garland should rescind his unwise and unsupported directive to insert federal law enforcement into local school board matters,’ the report said.
Garland, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this month, testified that his October 2021 memo ‘was aimed at violence and threats of violence against a whole host of school personnel.’
‘It was not aimed at parents making complaints to their school board,’ Garland said. ‘And it came in the context of a whole series of other kinds of violent threats and violence against other public officials.’
The committee’s report cited evidence showing there was no actual sign of rising threats against school board members when the initiative began.
‘If the Justice Department performed due diligence before promulgating the Attorney General’s memorandum, the Department would have learned it lacked a legitimate predicate,’ the report added, saying there was ‘no ‘distributing spike’ in alleged threats and violence at school board meetings.’
The report cited an email from a chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana’s Criminal Division, Brian Frazier, in which he said he met with FBI representatives to ‘ensure coordination, if needed, on any violence or threats related to school board proceedings.’
‘The FBI representatives acknowledged that DOJ has seen fit to elevate perceived school board security issues to a national level,’ Frazier wrote in the email, adding, that, ‘nevertheless they did not see any imminent threats to school boards or their members … nor did they ascertain any worrisome trends in that regard.’
The committee said ‘other reported threats were too vague to be independently substantiated or so innocuous as to not be of any real concern.’
Another email from a U.S. attorney acknowledged that officials ‘could remember only one incident’ regarding an ‘irate parent, who was upset about mask mandates,’ and who ‘had to be removed from a school board meeting by the school resource officer.’ That U.S. attorney clarified that ‘no threats were made to board members or school staff.’
The committee said the Biden administration ‘acted out of political motivations rather than for law-enforcement reasons’ and said, because of that, ‘parents around the country had FBI ‘assessments’ opened into them.’
The committee said its work ‘is not complete’ and that it will continue to conduct its oversight as the Biden administration continues to produce responsive documents.
The committee also slammed the FBI for producing ‘only fourteen pages of documents’ in response to the subpoena issued earlier this year.
The committee said it also has outstanding subpoenas for testimony from NSBA officials Chip Slaven and Viola Garcia, who signed the initial letter to Biden in September 2021.
‘Until all responsive documents are produced and interviews with the necessary parties take place, the Committee and Select Subcommittee will continue its oversight to uncover facts that will inform potential legislative reforms,’ the report said.