McCarthy demands AG Garland retract memo urging FBI to investigate parents who threaten school boards

McCarthy demands AG Garland retract memo urging FBI to investigate parents who threaten school boards

Three House Republicans have penned a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, demanding that he “immediately retract” an Oct. 4 memorandum that instructed the Department of Justice to investigate parents who have threatened school board members.

The letter was sent by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member Virginia Foxx, R-N.C.

“We believe, like the majority of Americans, that every parent has a right to be involved in their child’s education,” the lawmakers stated. “Second, parents who are concerned about material and curriculums in classrooms should be celebrated and admired, not made to feel like villains for simply asking basic questions regarding curriculums in their local schools.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks during a weekly press briefing, Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks during a weekly press briefing, Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

In the letter, the Republicans grilled Garland for his issuance of the memo after the Biden administration received a letter from the National School Boards Association which claimed some parental behavior may amount to domestic terrorism.

“Since that letter was first published, the American public has not only learned that individuals in the Biden administration worked with the NSBA to craft that letter, but you yourself admitted during a recent Congressional hearing that it was the only ‘source’ you had to justify your decision to baselessly investigate parents, chill constitutionally protected acts, and discourage their parental rights to have a say in their children’s education,” the members wrote, adding that it “was alarming to hear that the Department was moved to target parents by a single letter.”

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 21: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) speaks at a news conference on July 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 21: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) speaks at a news conference on July 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Last Friday, the National School Boards Association issued an apology for the letter it sent to the Biden administration. “On behalf of NSBA, we regret and apologize for the letter,” the NSBA said, noting that “there was no justification for some of the language included in the letter.”

“If the NSBA can no longer stand by its letter, how can the Department of Justice proceed with its actions spurred by that same letter?” the members asked.

UNITED STATES - MARCH 25: Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., speaks at a news conference. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

UNITED STATES – MARCH 25: Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., speaks at a news conference. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Republicans also said that “asking questions about the kinds of books your school district has on their library shelves” and “inquiring about politically-charged rhetoric potentially being injected into classrooms” are not examples of “domestic terrorism.”

“In disavowing their letter, the NSBA has abandoned this train of thought, the Department of Justice should as well,” the members concluded.

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