President Joe Biden “was excited … to go after parents” with the FBI after receiving the National School Boards Association letter asking his administration to treat concerned parents as “domestic terrorists” and use the Patriot Act, House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) told Breitbart News.
“Joe Biden called up Viola Garcia, the president of the School Boards Association, and invited her to come to the White House because he was so excited about what they were doing,” Jordan said. “And so the speed and the intensity and the excitement from this White House about putting this scheme into place, this conspiracy into place … he was excited about what this was, this whole process, this whole conspiracy to go after parents.”
Since the letter was received and acted upon by several members of the Biden administration, including most notably Attorney General Merrick Garland sending the FBI after parents who spoke at school board meetings, Jordan and the House Judiciary Republicans have been incessantly requesting information from the involved government agencies to find out who in the government was involved with the letter.
“We have sent nearly 100 letters to Departmental components requesting documents and information related to this investigation,” a letter to Garland signed by all Judiciary Republicans and obtained exclusively by Breitbart News states. “To date, we have received only two half-page responses from your Department, and none of the requested documents or substantive information.”
Judiciary Republicans sent similar letters, also obtained exclusively by Breitbart News, to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and White House chief of staff Ronald Klain regarding their respective components’ involvement or prior knowledge of the NSBA letter.
“The NSBA letter to President Biden alleged that ‘malice, violence, and threats’ against school officials ‘could be the equivalent of a form of domestic terrorism or hate crimes,’” the Judiciary GOP letter to Klain states. “The letter urged the President to use federal counterterrorism tools, including the Patriot Act, to target parents speaking out at school board meetings on behalf of their children.”
“We know from the NSBA-commissioned report that the White House did not object to or otherwise discourage the NSBA from asking the President to use the Patriot Act and domestic terrorism statutes against America’s parents—a request of which the President said he was ‘appreciative,’” the letter continued.
What happened in the aftermath of the NSBA letter to Biden “strengthens our concerns that the Biden Administration is chilling protected First Amendment activity as parents rightfully fear that their passionate advocacy for their children could result in a visit from federal law enforcement,” according to the Judiciary GOP letter to Klain.
The majority of the information — at least initially — came from FBI whistleblowers, which Jordan numbers at over a dozen. “But for the whistleblowers who have come forward, I don’t know that we’d have learned much of anything,” he said.
Additionally, after an NSBA internal review — the “NSBA-commissioned report” — the school board group admitted to heavy collusion with the White House and other administration officials, which the Judiciary GOP letter to Garland said provided “startling new evidence of how the Justice Department coordinated with the White House to target concerned parents.”
NSBA investigators placed the blame for the letter — from their end — almost entirely on Chip Slaven, who at the time was the Interim CEO and Executive Director of the organization. Slaven worked closely with White House Senior Advisor to the President Mary C. Wall, who “had advanced knowledge of the planned Letter and its specific contents and interacted with Mr. Slaven regarding the Letter during its drafting,” according to the findings of the inquiry.
“In addition, evidence indicates that White House officials discussed the existence of the Letter, its requests, and the contents of the Letter with Department of Justice officials more than a week before the Letter was finalized and sent to President Biden,” the findings continue. “Ms. Wall requested an advanced copy of the Letter to provide to her White House and Department of Justice colleagues ‘to see if there might be any options we can pursue here.’”
“The NSBA-commissioned report shows serious collusion between the Biden Administration and the NSBA to create the justification to use the heavy hand of federal law enforcement against concerned moms and dads advocating for their children’s future,” the Judiciary GOP letter to Garland states. “Committee Republicans will not let this matter rest. We are committed to fully examining the Biden Administration’s use of counterterrorism resources in relation to school board meetings.”
Prior to the NSBA letter’s public release, Slaven and Wall spoke specifically about using the Patriot Act and other counterterrorism tools to investigate parents concerned with what their children were learning in school.
An email from Wall to Slaven asked about “options we can pursue,” such as the “threat assessment”:
Is there any way we can take a look at the letter in advance of release? In specific, I’m meeting w colleagues from other WH offices and DOJ tomorrow morning to see if there might be any options we can pursue here, so if you have concrete recommendations in your letter (e.g. the threat assessment you mentioned), would be good to know so I can include in discussions.
Indeed, evidence “shows that Justice Department employees coordinated with the White House well in advance of the NSBA’s letter and likely knew—and raised no concerns—that the NSBA letter would urge the use of the Patriot Act to target parents,” the Judiciary GOP letter to Garland states.
And in response to Wall’s request, Slaven responded with a detailed accounting of their requests.
“In other words,” the Judiciary GOP write to Garland, “Justice Department officials knew that the NSBA would encourage President Biden to invoke the Patriot Act and domestic terrorism resources against parents, and the Justice Department apparently raised no concern about this effort.”
In response to the NSBA letter, Garland directed the FBI to look into parents and also open a threat communication line to report parents. Garland subsequently testified before the Judiciary Committee that he had no prior knowledge of the contents of the letter.
“It is now abundantly clear from the NSBA-commissioned review that your memorandum was the product of weeks of discussions between the Justice Department, the White House, and the NSBA,” the Judiciary GOP wrote to Garland.
“You’re the Attorney General, and you don’t know this whole scheme?” Jordan told Breitbart News. “This apparatus that was put in place where, by his own memo, he set up the dedicated line of threat reporting … which I have called a snitch line on parents.”
“That snitch line was used by people to report,” he continued. “I mean, the one example we gave in the letter a few months ago was the mother who was in the group Moms for Liberty, and she owned a firearm, and somehow that qualified her as a domestic terrorist, and she got reported for those two facts.”
Over two dozen parents were investigated using Garland’s “snitch line,” though to date, it does not appear that charges have been brought.
But Jordan said that whether or not these parents have been charged with anything “misses the point.”
“The idea that you were just investigated — the chilling impact of the apparatus that they put in place — you know, this is clearly, in my mind, about intimidating moms and dads,” he said. “And so you get the FBI agent showing up your house, even if they don’t charge you with anything, just the fact that someone reported you because you were in the group Moms for Liberty, the FBI agent shows up at your house. For goodness sakes, if that’s not chilling on First Amendment free speech rights, I don’t know what is.”
To Jordan, “that’s what the left is all about. They’re all about intimidation.”
“Think about it. It’s the same reason the DHS set up the Disinformation Governance Board,” he said. “It’s about intimidating people that that disagree with the left’s thinking — going after their political opponents.”
“It’s the same reason that the FBI after President Trump in the whole Trump-Russia collusion fake,” he continued. “It’s the same reason that the left has been reluctant to pass the security measure for Supreme Court justices — it’s because they want to intimidate the Court. It’s all about intimidation.”
“And the way you intimidate is to chill speech, get people to be quiet,” he concluded. “They weaponize government to intimidate.”
Tapping into that vein, the Judiciary GOP is probing Mayorkas as well.
“On top of your effort to establish a so-called Disinformation Board, this new information raises questions about whether DHS believes counterterrorism resources should appropriately be used to target American parents,” the letter exclusively obtained by Breitbart News states while showing evidence that Slaven wanted to reach out to DHS for a treat assessment.
In Slaven’s words:
I have been very concerned over these issues for several weeks. This rhetoric is troubling and reminds me of similar language during the 1990’s after Waco and Ruby Ridge. I have been exploring several options to try and address these issues including contacting the Department of Justice and/or Department of Homeland Security and asking for threat assessment for school boards and public schools.
It is unclear if Slaven ever approached DHS with these concerns.
When asked what the political motivations of the Biden administration might have been in wanting such a letter from the NSBA, Jordan told Breitbart News he believes they thought it would help them.
He then brought up Virginia’s recent gubernatorial competition between former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and Glenn Youngkin (R) as evidence of how the calculation “backfired.”
“But then McAuliffe made his statement about, you know, ‘the state is smarter than parents when it comes to their kids’ — I’m paraphrasing, but he made some stupid statement like that,” he said. “When McAuliffe makes that statement, and then this comes out, and people start to understand what’s going on, I think it totally backfired on the Democrats as evidenced by Glenn Youngkin winning his election and is now the governor of Virginia.”
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