DOJ officials say memo focuses precisely on illegal threats of violence
first on GranthshalaSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a letter Friday to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking him to clarify what he meant by his recent memo on “harassment” and “intimidation” of school officials by parents, including Including whether the recall of election efforts is intimidating. Investigation was done by the police.
The letter follows days of outrage over the attorney general’s memorandum, which came shortly after a letter to President Biden of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) said there was some conflict between school boards and parents. Rhetoric may amount to “domestic terrorism”.
Garland’s memo calls on the FBI to lead a task force to address threats against school officials, including creating a centralized way to report such threats.
“”[Y]We directed federal law enforcement to partner with state and local governments to address “threats of violence, and other forms of intimidation and harassment” of ‘school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff’ in public schools ,” McConnell, R-Ky., wrote of Garland’s memo. as silent as any real prophecy.”
DOJ launches effort to deal with threats of violence against school officials
McConnell said: “The ominous rhetoric of your memo does not reflect the reality that we have seen in schools across the country in recent months.”
The minority leader is far from the first Republican elected official to attack Garland over the timing and tone of his letter. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said earlier this week that Garland’s memo was simply an attempt to get behind opponents of critical race theory. Representative Ken Buck, R-Colo., meanwhile called Garland’s memo a “politically motivated abuse of power.”
But top Republicans in the US Senate are also weighing in, indicating that the GOP will not allow the issue to fade into the background, and that Justice Department officials appearing before Congress are likely to face tough questions on critical race theory. can hope. This memo has been around for a long time.
McConnell continues in the letter to condemn “violence, threats of violence and other criminal behavior” as “always wrong” – including some time this year asking police to stop unruly parents at school board meetings. required to be involved. But, McConnell said, widespread outrage against the critical race theory is not something law enforcement should be involved in monitoring.
“Parents should tell their local schools exactly what to teach. This is the basis of representative government,” McConnell said. “They do this in elections and – as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution – by petitioning their government for grievance redress. Telling elected officials they are wrong is democracy, not intimidation.”
McConnell further expressed concern about the work of Critical Race Theory backers, who believe in the memo goals of much-parent Republican Garland. They specifically noted that one Loudon County, VA, officer was a member of a Facebook group that discussed hacking parents’ websites, while another was part of a group “looking for ‘docs’ to concerned parents.” was a member.”
McConnell also asks whether Garland’s office consulted with anyone from the NSBA, the group whose letter to Biden is widely believed to be the inspiration for Garland’s memo.
DOJ officials have defended Garland’s memo in several Senate hearings this week. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said during Hawley’s interrogation that the memo is only about violence and threats of violence, and that the role of the FBI addresses those threats.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clark said in a separate hearing that the Justice Department does not view parents as a threat and that the attorney general’s memo focused only on intimidation and intimidation.
“The First Amendment is a core value of our democracy,” Clark said. “The Attorney General’s memorandum pertains to threats against public servants and states that threats against public servants are not only illegal, they are against the core values of our country.”
She further clarified that she does not believe that the parents who objected to the school board meetings are domestic terrorists.
Granthshala News’ Liz Frieden contributed to this report.