Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee launched an investigation into the National School Boards Association on Wednesday, seeking all documents and communications between the association, the White House and the Justice Department.
The deadline for documents is Nov. 10 as Republicans on the committee will investigate the paper trail that led to the NSBA's open letter to President Joe Biden that spurred Attorney General Merrick Garland to mobilize the FBI and U.S. prosecutors to potentially investigate and prosecute local school board protests.
"We are investigating the troubling attempts by the Department of Justice and the White House to use the heavy hand of federal law enforcement to target concerned parents at local school board meetings and chill their protected First Amendment activity," the letter led by ranking member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, read.
"Because you are the officers of the National School Boards Association's (NSBA) board of directors, which exercises 'supervision, control, and direction of the affairs of the Association,' we respectfully request your assistance with our investigation."
The NSBA sent an open letter Sept. 29 to Biden requesting help from the federal government with concerned parents voicing their opinions at school board meetings. The NSBA letter stated that "malice, violence, and threats" against school officials "could be the equivalent of a form of domestic terrorism or hate crimes.'"
Just days later, Garland sent a memo to get the FBI and U.S. attorneys together to talk about how the Justice Department can investigate and prosecute those who protest at school board meetings.
"The Biden administration seemingly relied upon the NSBA letter — which it coordinated in advance with the NSBA — as justification to unleash the full weight of the federal law enforcement apparatus upon America's parents," Jordan's letter, signed by 19 House GOP members, claimed.
Garland has denied the intent of his memorandum was to threaten parents or chill their protected First Amendment activity, and the NSBA board of directors last week issued an apology for the "domestic terrorism" allegation in the original open letter to Biden that sparked Garland's action.
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