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AG Garland Defends Order for FBI to Investigate Threats at School Board Meetings

Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies before House Judiciary Committee. Photo: Congress.

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday defended his decision to order the FBI to investigate threats against educators and school board members, saying the Justice Department does not want to silence parents. 

“We are trying to prevent violence and threats of violence. It’s not only about schools — we have similar concerns about election workers,” Garland testified before the House Judiciary Committee, The Washington Post reports. “This is a rising problem in the United States, of threats of violence, and we are trying to prevent the violence.”

Republicans criticized the directive, which Garland issued on Oct. 4, saying it had a chilling effect on speech. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said the directive amounted to “a snitch line on parents.”

“There’s nothing in this memorandum that has any effect on the kinds of curriculums that are taught or the ability of the parents to complain,” Garland responded.

Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, said the directive was an overreach. 

“We don’t need the vast power of the federal government throwing its weight around,” Chabot said. “We don’t need you, the Justice Department, or the FBI trampling on the rights of parents.”

Garland also indicated that the Trump-era investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe is “still in action.”


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