The Biden administration colluded with the National School Boards Association to develop the language of the NSBA's Sept. 29, 2021, letter to President Joe Biden urging the use of federal law enforcement and counterterrorism tools, including the Patriot Act, against parents, according to a House select subcommittee.
The details were included in a report released Tuesday by the House Judiciary Committee's Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, which concluded the administration's overall goal was to silence critics of its education policies ahead of Virginia's 2021 gubernatorial race.
Soon after the NSBA's letter, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo on Oct. 4, 2021, directing the FBI and all U.S. attorney's offices — among other Justice Department components — to examine and address threats posed by parents at school board meetings.
Garland's memo came about a month before the gubernatorial race in Virginia in which education policies were hotly debated. Republican Glenn Youngkin narrowly defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the race.
"The administration's goal seems to have been silencing the critics of its radical education policies and neutralizing an issue that was threatening Democrat Party prospects in the close gubernatorial race in Virginia," the report read.
Committee Republicans repeatedly have called on Garland to rescind his memorandum, but he has refused. Conservatives have criticized Garland, saying he effectively labeled parents as domestic terrorists when they only were exercising their First Amendment rights.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who is chairman of both the select subcommittee and the Judiciary Committee, issued subpoenas to the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Education Department for documents on Feb. 3.
"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 read. "The Justice Department's own documents demonstrate that there was no compelling nationwide law enforcement justification for the attorney general's directive."
According to the report, internal executive branch documents showed the Biden administration's use of federal law enforcement and counterterrorism resources was an example of government weaponization against parents. It called out the Justice Department for not performing due diligence before Garland issue his memo. The report said if the DOJ had, "it would have understood clearly and forcefully that federal intervention was unwarranted."
"The use of these resources chills protected First Amendment activity, as parents rightfully fear that their passionate advocacy for their children could result in a visit from federal law enforcement," the report read.
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