Attorney General Merrick Garland was the subject of intense scrutiny while before the Senate Judicial Committee over the Department of Justice’s attempt to suppress opposition to local school boar decisions via use of federal agents, among other issues.
According to a report in PJ Media Garland Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) bore down on the nation’s chief law enforcement officer over a request from the National School Boards Association where they indicated their belief that parents rallying at school board meetings should be regarded as domestic terrorists.
Garland has maintained that the FBI was only investigating threats of violence and not other types of dissent when they sent agents to assist with the National School Board Association’s request: “Nothing in this memorandum or any memorandum is about parents expressing disagreements with their school boards. The memorandum makes clear that parents are entitled to have vigorous debates.”
However, research into the supposed threats showed that there wasn’t any instance of legitimate threat, and Cotton wasn’t letting Garland get by with his assertion. During his line of questioning he asked, specifically, what the FBI was doing turning their attention to the parents who were looking to suppress racist ideals and the presences of predators amongst their children in school:
“So what is the National Security division [of the FBI] doing? They’re supposed to be chasing jihadists and Chinese spies. What is the National Security division have to do with parents at school boards?”
Garland responded saying, “This is not, again, about parents at school boards. This is about threats of violence.” Cotton wasn’t satisfied, however, pointing to Garland’s own report:
“The very first line in your memorandum refers to ‘harassment and intimidation.’ Why do you continue to dissemble in front of this committee that you are only talking about violence and threats of violence? You’ve cited, as the basis for that directive [telling the FBI to watch school board meetings] the National School Boards Association’s letter of September 29. Was that directive being prepared before September 29, before the School Boards Association letter was issued?” Cotton was asking if Garland had planned to crack down on dissenters from critical race theory even before the National School Boards Association handed him an opportunity to do so.
“I don’t believe so. Certainly, I didn’t have any idea –” Garland responded and later when pinned down further said, “No, that’s not, that is not what I was talking about.”
When questioned specifically about one father who was standing up to the school after his 15-year-old daughter was raped. She was raped in a bathroom by a boy wearing girls’ clothes and the Loudoun County Virginia School Board covered it up, Garland was caught:
“Senator, anyone whose, uh, child was raped has, uh, is the most horrific crime I can imagine and is certainly entitled and protected by the First Amendment to protest to their school board about this,” the attorney general said.
Cotton concluded: “This is, Judge, this is shameful. This testimony, your directive, your performance is shameful. Thank God you are not on the Supreme Court. You should resign in disgrace, Judge.”