Attorney General Merrick Garland's move to mobilize the FBI and U.S. attorneys to "investigate and prosecute" protests at public school board meetings and schools is "absolutely disgraceful," former Rep. Pete King said on Newsmax Wednesday.
"There was no legal basis for it at all," the New York Republican, now a Newsmax contributor, said on the network's "National Report." "It's an attempt to intimidate grassroots mothers and fathers who want to speak up at school board meetings on issues such as critical race theory that they feel are being foisted on their kids without the approval of the parents."
Earlier this week, Garland wrote in a memo to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Justice Department prosecutors that "threats against public servants" aren't only illegal but run "counter to our nation's core values."
"The Department takes these incidents seriously and is committed to using its authority and resources to discourage these threats, identify them when they occur, and prosecute them when appropriate. In the coming days, the Department will announce a series of measures designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel," he said in the memo.
King told Newsmax that he agrees with Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who demanded to know where the line is concerning parents expressing their concerns to school board members, and said that threatening to arrest people equals intimidating them and that it violates their rights.
"The FBI, the Justice department have done nothing to investigate antifa or Black Lives Matter who have caused tremendous violence," said King. "We saw it here in New York last summer. It was an absolute disgrace, what was going on with the hundreds of millions of dollars in property damages. The cops ended up in the hospital."
But the parents' protests against COVID vaccine mandates, masks, and more is a "real grassroots movement of parents who are outraged by what's happening, and the Biden administration is responding by turning the FBI loose on them," said King. "This is the ultimate in thought control and the ultimate in intimidation."
He added that he doesn't think the parents will be intimidated by the threats, however, and he thinks it's wrong what President Joe Biden and the Justice Department are doing.
"We had a reputation as being much more moderate and much more focused," said King. "This is an absolute abuse of power. "
King also discussed National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan's meeting next week with Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi, where growing tensions between China and Taiwan will likely be discussed, and said it could be a repeat of the tension-filled meeting earlier this year in Anchorage between Biden's diplomatic team and China's.
"Back in Anchorage, I was willing to give [Secretary of State] Antony Blinken the benefit of the doubt, being his first time out," King said. "But the fact is, this administration's foreign policy makes no sense. It shows itself to be very weak, very uncertain of where it's going."
He added that he has "no faith" in Sullivan "in particular," so he's concerned about the meeting.
"You have this already critical moment with China and Taiwan, which we are closely connected to," said King, adding that the United States should be able to provide security and he hopes Sullivan "stands up to them."
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