Attorney General Dodges Lawmaker Questions Regarding FBI Investigation of Parents

Attorney General Dodges Lawmaker Questions Regarding FBI Investigation of Parents

Attorney General Dodges Lawmaker Questions Regarding FBI Investigation of Parents

President Joe Biden promised on the campaign trail to be ‘the most pro-union president’ in the nation’s history, and that’s bearing out even in his pick for the country’s top law enforcement officer, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Garland is mired in potentially scandalous territory after sending a disturbing memo to the director of the FBI in which he instructed the agency to target and investigate parents with the audacity to speak out against the ideological indoctrination and other abuses suffered by their children in the teacher union-dominated cesspool that is the public school system and the National School Boards Association (NSBA).

Parental concern has grown across the country as thousands of parents witnessed their children’s school lessons during the days of national school shutdowns.

Parents grew increasingly uncomfortable with the curricula streaming into their living rooms over “Zoom school”, and the politics teachers’ unions exploited to keep schools closed. Before long, an unprecedented parental movement against teachers’ unions and school boards lit up across the country.

But the teachers’ union leaders and the school boards weren’t having it, and their response was to limit public comments, cancel public meetings, and even arrest angry parents trying to make their voices heard on behalf of their children.

Parents did not take kindly to their elected school boards ignoring their concerns, but Garland’s official memo to the FBI only poured fuel on the fire.

Making matters worse, emails reveal that prior to Garland’s memo, the NBSA had been in communication with the White House for weeks before sending the Biden administration a letter asking for federal assistance against problematic parents they likened to “domestic terrorists”.

Paying lip service to the First Amendment, which protects all speech except for the narrowest category creating an imminent risk of harm to another person, in his memo Garland argued that “harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers and staff” necessitates intervention by the FBI. 

One would think the Attorney General would have more respect for the Constitution, the rule of law and our system of government. But considering by whom he was appointed, perhaps we should not be too surprised.  

For his part, Garland’s performance at a recent House Judiciary Committee was, to put it mildly, exactly what one would expect from an experienced and skilled lawyer. Rather than answer directly about his collaboration with the National School Boards Association or the Biden White House and whether he thought of parents as “domestic terrorists” who had no right to protest their local school officials, Garland’s rhetorical tap dance would have put Fred Astaire to shame. 

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the Judiciary committee, asked whether Garland’s memo was tantamount to instructing the FBI to create a “snitch line” to report unhappy parents and whether it was a coincidence the NSBA was working with the White House just days before Garland’s memo was issued to the FBI. 

Garland eventually admitted the NSBA letter was “brought to our attention” and was a “relevant factor” in issuing the memo to the FBI. 

Another Republican member of the House from Ohio, Steve Chabot, told Garland, “I found it deeply disturbing that the National School Board Association convinced the Biden administration to sic you and your Justice Department, the FBI, the full power of the federal law enforcement in this country on involved parents as if they were domestic terrorists.” 

Garland responded that: “I want to be clear that the Justice Department supports and defends the First Amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in their schools.” 

Or so he now claims. 

Garland became visibly irritated when Louisiana Republican Rep. Mike Johnson grilled him about his potential conflict of interest regarding parental objections over curriculum pushed by an educational resource company co-founded by his son-in-law. 

“We now know that company publishes and sells Critical Race Theory and so-called anti-racism materials to schools across the country,” said Johnson. “(A)nd it works with school districts nationwide to obtain and analyze data on students often without parental consent.” 

Garland testily responded, “(T)here is no company in America or hopefully no law-abiding citizen in America who believes that threats of violence should not be prevented. There are no conflicts of that anyone could have. 

“I want to be clear once again that there’s nothing in this memorandum which has any effect on the kinds of curriculums (sic) that are taught or the ability of parents to complain.”

Teachers’ unions have revealed themselves during the last two years to be political entities rather than educational organizations. The unions work hand-in-glove with the school boards to execute their shared agendas, and it appears Biden’s promise to be the “most pro-union president” means doing their collective bidding and then providing legal and even security cover when the inevitable backlash comes.

Fortunately, the backlash is here, and it is building. After Garland’s problematic appearance at the House Judiciary Committee and the revelation that the NSBA conspired with the White House before calling for federal help against dangerous, angry parents, as many as 20 state school boards have distanced themselves from the national organization and at least one senator, Josh Hawley of Missouri, is calling for Garland’s resignation.

“You are not the president’s or the vice president’s lawyer,” Garland was instructed by the president last January. “Your loyalty is not to me. It’s to the law, the Constitution, the people of this nation to guarantee justice.”  

Right now it’s an army of angry parents, rather than the president himself, holding the attorney general accountable.

Litigation Counsel
Tim Snowball is a civil rights attorney with Freedom Foundation, where his practice is focused on protecting the First Amendment rights of government workers to make their own decisions about whether to join or support public sector unions. In addition to his legal practice, Tim is an advocate for education in the areas of American government, constitutional history, and the Rule of Law. To this end, he has participated in hundreds of media interviews, written viral op-eds and blog posts, and regularly delivers speeches and other presentations to groups across California. Tim is also a part-time coach for UC Davis School of Law’s Mock Trial Program, where he teaches students the ins and out of trial practice, and has successfully lead teams to national competitions for the past three years. Tim received a JD from the George Washington University Law School, a BA in American Politics and Government from UC Berkeley, and an AA in Political Science from Grossmont College. At GW, Tim served as Notes Editor on the Federal Circuit Bar Journal, Coach on the Mock Trial Skills Board, and received the President’s Volunteer Service Award and Pro Bono Service Award for volunteering over 500 hours of pro bono service. When not fighting to protect the First Amendment, you can find Tim with his nose stuck in a book, working out, watching movies, or spending time with family and friends.