Sen. Josh Hawley on Monday called for Attorney General Merrick Garland's resignation over his call earlier this month to mobilize the FBI and federal prosecutors to investigate protests at public school board meetings and against educators, saying there was never a basis for the instruction.
"What he's done is just so wrong," the Missouri Republican said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "It was the wrong thing to do in the first place, to try to use the FBI to tell parents that if they go to a school board meeting, if they voice concerns about their kid's school, that they could what, get a knock on the door from an agent? There's no legal basis for that."
Garland, while testifying before a Senate committee last week, downplayed the memo he sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray and prosecutors.
The attorney general said he doesn't think that parents who get angry with their school boards are domestic terrorists and that the DOJ "is not trying to chill whatever objections they want to make to a school board. Our only concern is violence and threats of violence."
But in his memo earlier this month, Garland wrote that "threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation's core values" and that the DOJ "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."
Merrick's memo came after The National School Board Association' board of directors sent a letter in September to President Joe Biden that asked the DOJ to investigate acts of domestic terrorism at local school board meetings.
Last week, however, the board apologized and said it regrets sending the letter.
"Now we find out that the school board association regrets sending that letter that they said they shouldn't have sent it in the first place," said Hawley. "Garland based his entire FBI memo on that letter, that the National School Board Association has now withdrawn, including their allegations. That just shows that there was never any basis for this at all, and he should be accountable for it."
It was right for the board to withdraw the letter, Hawley added, as it was wrong to suggest that parents with opposing views are terrorists.
"You talk about an embarrassment for the Biden administration, but also, just an exposure of the fact that they were wrong from the very beginning," said Hawley. "Garland should resign for it."
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