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The FBI provided four pieces of paper in response to a House subpoena regarding the agency’s treatment of parents protesting school board actions in 2021, according to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
Jordan, who chairs the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, in February issued subpoenas to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the FBI, and the Department of Education.
Responses were due March 1.
The DOJ provided nearly 450 documents. The Department of Education provided over 1,000 documents, according to published reports.
“The FBI is a different story,” Jordan said on March 1. “I think I got like four documents—like four pieces of paper.”
The subcommittee is investigating the federal government’s treatment of parents who protested against mask mandates and other concerns at the height of the pandemic lockdowns.
In response to an increasing number of contentious protests, The National Association of School Boards (NASB) wrote a letter (pdf) to President Joe Biden asking for action to protect school administrators against disruptive behavior and threats from protesters.
The letter, dated Sept. 29, 2021, asked the president to mobilize the resources of the DOJ, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Secret Service and its National Threat Assessment Center, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to assist state and local law enforcement in dealing with protesters’ actions, which the NASB likened to “a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
Further, the NASB asked that the Gun-Free School Zones Act, the PATRIOT Act, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Violent Interference with Federally Protected Rights statute, and the Conspiracy Against Rights statute, and an executive order from the president be employed against the protesters if possible.
Six days later, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo (pdf) ordering the FBI to convene meetings with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial leaders in each federal judicial district to discuss strategies for addressing threats against school personnel.
Republican lawmakers, alarmed by Garland’s directive, promised to create a “parents’ bill of rights” if they took control of Congress in 2022.
Jordan confirmed on Feb. 7 that the subcommittee had conducted an interview with an FBI whistleblower about the DOJ’s handling of the matter.
“We’ve now had dozens of whistleblowers come talk to House Republican staff on the Judiciary Committee,” Jordan said in a news conference. “In fact, one of [the whistleblowers] is testifying in a transcribed interview as we speak,” Jordan said in a press conference.
The whistleblower who spoke with the subcommittee said the DOJ is operating in “a political fashion and manner,” Jordan reported.