Whoever typed this transcript needs to use spellcheck.Dear Mr. Attorney General
In sworn testimony before this Committee, you denied that the Department of Justice or its components were using counterterrorism statutes and resources to target parents at school board meetings. We now have evidence that contrary to your testimony, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has labeled at least dozens of investigations into parents with a threat tag created by the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division to assess and track investigations related to school boards. These cases include investigations into parents upset about mask mandates and state elected officials who publicly voiced opposition to vaccine mandates. These investigations into concerned parents are the direct result of, and would not have occurred but for, your directive to federal law enforcement to target these categories of people.
On October 4, 2021, in response to a request from the National School Boards Association that the federal government use counterterrorism tools, including the Patriot Act, to target parents at school board meetings, you issued a memorandum directing the FBI to address these threats. The press release accompanying your memorandum highlighted the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center to serve as a snitch-line for tips about parents at school board meetings. By October 20, the FBI had operationalized your directive. In an FBI-wide email, the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division and Criminal Division announced the creation of a new threat tag — EDUOFFICIALS — and directed all FBI personnel to apply it to school board-related threats.
We have learned from brave whistleblowers that the FBI has opened investigations with the EDUOFFICIALS threat tag in almost every region of the country and relating to all types of educational settings. The information we have received shows how, as a direct result of your directive, federal law enforcement is using counterterrorism resources to investigate protected First Amendment activity. For example:
In one investigation begun following your directive, the FBI’s [redacted] Field Office interviewed a mom for allegedly telling a school board “we are coming for you.” The complaint, which came into the FBI through the National Threat Operations Center snitch-line, alleged that the mom was a threat because she belonged to a “right wing mom’s group” known as “Moms for Liberty” and because “she is a gun owner”. When an FBI agent interviewed the mom, she told the agent that she was upset about the school board’s mask mandates and that her statement was a warning that her organization would seek to replace the school board with new members through the electoral process.
The FBI’s [redacted] Field Office opened an investigation subsequent to your directive, into a dad opposed to mask mandates. The complaint came in through the National Threat Operations Center snitch-line and alleged that the dad “fit the profile of an insurrectionist” because he “rails against the government,” “believes all conspiracy theories,” and “has a lot of guns and threatens to use them.” When an FBI agent interviewed the complainant, the complainant admitted they had “no specific information or observations of … any crimes or threats,” but they contacted the FBI after learning the Justice Department had a website “to submit tips to the FBI in regards to any concerning behavior directed toward school boards.”
In another case initiated after your directive, the FBI’s [redacted] Field Office opened an investigation into Republican state elected officials over allegations from a state Democratic party official that the Republicans “incited violence” by expressing public displeasure with school districts’ vaccine mandates. This complaint also came into the FBI through the National Threat Operations Center snitch-line.
This whistleblower information is startling. You have subjected these moms and dads to the opening of an FBI investigation about them, the establishment of an FBI case file that includes their political views, and the application of a “threat tag” to their names as a direct result of their exercise of their fundamental constitutional right to speak and advocate for their children. This information is evidence of how the Biden Administration is using federal law enforcement, including counterterrorism resources, to investigate concerned parents for protected First Amendment Activity. Although FBI agents ultimately — and rightly — determined that these cases did not implciate federal criminal statutes, the agents still exerted their limited time and resources investigating these complaints. This valuable law-enforcement time and resources coudl have been expended on ral and pressing threats.
These investigations into concerned parents were the direct result of your October 4 directive to the FBI. Each of the cases was initiated following your directive. Each of the complaints came into the FBI through the same snitch-line the National Threat Operations Center — highlighted in the press release accompanying your October 4 memorandum. One complainant even told an FBI agent that they reported the tip to the FBI because of the snitch-line, despite having “no specific information” about any actual threat. These facts lead us to conclude that these investigations into concerned parents, and likely many more of them would not have occurred but for your directive.
Parents have an undisputed right to direct the upbringing and education of their children which includes voicing their strong opposition to controversial curricula at local schools. This whistleblower information raises serious concerns that your October 4 memorandum will chill protected First Amendment activitiy as parents will rightfully fear that their passionate advocacy for their children coudl result in a viit from federal law enforcement. You have refused to rescind your October 4 memorandum and its anti-parent directives. In light of this new whistleblower information, we agan call on you to rescind your October 4 memorandum.
Committee Republians have been investiating the Biden Administrations misuse of law-enforcement resources to target concerned parents since last fall. You have failed to substantively respond to our requests for docuements and your sworn testimony to the Committee is now contradicted by whistleblower information. Please be assured that Committee Republicans will not let this matter drop. Accordingly, we requeset the following information:
1. Produce all documents and materials identified in our letters to Departmental components dated November 1, 2021, November 2, 2021, November 3, 2021 and November 18, 2021 immediately and;
2. Take all reasonable steps immediately to preserve all records responsive to our letters to Department components.
In addition, we remind you that whistleblower disclosures to Congress are protected by law and that we will not tolerate any effort to retaliate agaist whistleblwoers for their disclosures.
Jim Jordan Ranking member
Mike Johnson Ranking member, subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
I know several mama bears. I would have never guessed they were domestic terrorists. They hide it so well.