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FIRST ON FOX: Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo.has sent a follow-up letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) demanding answers to questions from Senate Republicans about Attorney General Merrick Garland’s October 2021 memorandum seeking law enforcement intervention in meetings of the school board across the country.
On Oct. 4, Garland released a memo instructing local law enforcement to coordinate with the FBI to investigate disruptions of school board meetings across the country. The memo came in response to an alleged increase in criticism, public insults and accusations against school board members. Also, it came just days after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent out a letter to President Biden comparing parental protests to domestic terrorism. Garland testified later in October that the NSBA letter was the basis of his memo.
“Once again, reports have revealed even more troubling details about his infamous school board memo from last October,” Hawley wrote in Tuesday’s letter. “In light of these new revelations, he must immediately reveal how much coordination the Department had with him, at any level, with outside groups.”
“In recent months, there has been a disturbing increase in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff involved in the vital work of running California’s public schools. our nation,” Attorney General Merrick Garland wrote in the October 2021 Notice to the FBI.
Garland went on to announce a series of meetings between federal officials and local law enforcement that will “facilitate discussion of strategies to address threats against school administrators, board members, teachers and staff, and open dedicated lines of communication.” to report and assess threats. and answer”.
“Your memo directed the FBI and federal prosecutors to investigate parents who were speaking at school board meetings,” Hawley wrote in his Tuesday letter. “While he admitted that he issued the memo in direct response to a September 29 letter from the National Association of School Boards, which smeared parents as ‘domestic terrorists,’ he stated in his testimony to Congress that he did not know whether his office had other communications with that group. Specifically, you said, ‘I have no idea if there were any discussions with the School Board Association.'”
Hawley questioned the reluctance of Attorney General and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to take responsibility for the memo, noting that the NSBA has already apologized for the situation and admitted that it overstepped its jurisdiction.
“To its credit, the NSBA has since apologized for its letter and disavowed it, saying there was ‘no justification’ for it and that the letter ‘directly contradicts[ed] our core commitment to parent involvement,'” Hawley continued. “But no one has yet received a public apology from you or Secretary Cardona. And he has continued to remain silent on questions about his office’s coordination with the NSBA.”
“That silence must end. The American people deserve answers,” Hawley concluded. “You said last fall that you didn’t know if members of your office coordinated with the NSBA, but since then you’ve had plenty of time to find out. You need to immediately explain your own role in this matter, as well as how intimately involved you are.” the NSBA and other groups shaped the official actions of his office.”
Ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, led 10 of his fellow Republican senators in the original pair of letters to Cardona and Garland about the widely criticized NSBA correspondence.
Emails reviewed by Fox News Digital show a senior NSBA official indicating that Cardona requested the letter from the NSBA, although the Department of Education denies that he did so.
“That letter was the immediate cause for Attorney General Garland to issue a memorandum on October 4, 2021, directing the FBI and various U.S. Attorneys to focus on harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence directed at school officials. “, He said letter a Cardona reads.
“That action by Attorney General Garland has created a dramatic effect to scare parents across the country and is an inappropriate deployment of federal law enforcement,” the letter continues.
The senators referenced the Fox News Digital report on the email request, saying it “proves the case” that Cardona “played a critical role in initiating these events.”
The DOJ did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
Houston Keene of Fox News contributed to this report.