Rep. Byron Donalds hasn't yet joined with his Republican colleagues in calling for Attorney General Merrick Garland's resignation, but he said on Newsmax Wednesday he's changed his mind after a new report emerged detailing the FBI's surveillance of parents objecting to teachers and school board personnel.
"I've not made that official call yet, but based upon what I'm seeing, I see no reason why not to agree with it," the Florida Republican said on Newsmax's "National Report."
"He has been a highly political AG. That's just what he's done, and so he has allowed himself to be caught into the politics of the political left and the White House."
That, said Donalds, is "something that the head of the Department of Justice should never allow himself or herself to be engaged in. He's caught red-handed, so to speak, and so I think he should go."
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the FBI has set up a process for tracking the threats and moved to implement a Justice Department memo issued in October that GOP lawmakers and law-enforcement officials said may target parents who are lawfully protesting the policies in their kids' schools.
The newspaper reviewed an Oct. 20 memo from the heads of the FBI's criminal and counterterrorism divisions that told agents to use a "threat tag" to flag assessments and investigations of people threatening educators. Agents were also told to consider the motivation behind the criminal activity and to tag threats with the code "EDUOFFICIALS" to better track them.
Garland, however, insisted during his recent congressional testimony that parents weren't being treated like criminals and downplayed the surveillance order.
"[He] knew he wasn't being truthful with Congress," said Donalds. "For him to sit there and say that oh, no, no, we just put out a letter, but we're not going to do any more work on this. We're just gonna watch it...that's just not true. If that was going to be the position of the Department of Justice and why put out a letter?"
Donalds also spoke about the growing call against Republicans who voted along with Democrats on the bipartisan infrastructure package, noting that voters won't respond well to that.
"Voting for that infrastructure bill last week only opened up the floodgates for Joe Biden's 'Build Back Better,' whatever you want to call it," said Donalds. "It is a bill that's going to overspend in our economy and expand the social welfare state in our country. It's not good for Americans."
Further, he said, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., at this point is "co-signing every talking point by Nancy Pelosi because the only thing that Democrats want to talk about now is Jan. 6, because every other piece of their agenda has failed."
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