After an FBI whistleblower released an Oct. 20 memo to the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday, ranking member, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told Newsmax that the FBI was actively “spying” on parents attending school board meetings throughout the country and “tagging” them for possible investigations.
“Just when you think it can't get any worse, we find out the FBI, as we speak is spying on parents,” Jordan said Tuesday during “Spicer & Co.” “Categorizing parents who are showing up at school board meetings, this is scary what they're doing.”
The memo, a joint message from the criminal investigations and counterterrorism divisions to all agents, asked to tag reports of threats or harassment to school board members, administrators, teachers, and others, as “EDUOFFICIALS” to flag such reports for possible investigation by the federal law enforcement agency.
“We share an obligation to ensure all individuals are able to do their jobs without threats of violence or fear for their safety,” the memo read in part. “This can only be accomplished with effective coordination internally between relevant divisions and through effective coordination and engagement with our law enforcement partners and United States Attorney’s offices.”
Agents are asked to evaluate if the cases have “a federal nexus,” federal law violations, and what the motives may be, according to the memo.
The issue comes from an early October letter from the National School Boards Association to President Joe Biden asking for federal help to deal with a “spike” in threats to members throughout the country as angry parents began attending meetings and calling out the local boards on a variety of educational topics.
The association, which labeled the parents as “terrorists” in the letter, later apologized for the “language” used.
Jordan said that he is now concerned that when Attorney General Merrick Garland appeared before his committee the day after this memo went out, he was not forthcoming and denied that the Department of Justice was targeting parents at school board meetings and thinking of them as domestic terrorists.
“The very day before (Garland) talks to us, before he answers in the way he did, we have this memo that goes out to the FBI agents around the country, talking about the threat tag and categorizing and labeling parents in this way,” he said.
The memo led Jordan to send a letter of his own to Garland Tuesday, asking the attorney general to explain the discrepancies in his testimony to the committee considering what the memo disclosed.
“This whistleblower disclosure calls into question the accuracy and completeness of your testimony before the committee,” Jordan’s letter said. “We invite you to amend your testimony as to whether the department, or any of its components, has used, or is using, counterterrorism resources, or tools, for the purpose of investigating, tracking, or prosecuting, threats relating to school board meetings.”
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