Kennedy, Judiciary Republicans probe Garland, Cardona for answers on DOJ targeting parents
Jan 18 2022
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and other Judiciary Committee senators in asking Attorney General Merrick Garland and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona for answers regarding the National School Boards Association (NSBA) letter sent to President Joe Biden in September 2021. That letter prompted a Justice Department (DOJ) memo that directed the FBI to investigate parents protesting at local school board meetings.
“We now have reason to believe personnel at the NSBA coordinated its September 29 letter with, or acted at the behest of, the sitting Secretary of Education, as well as White House personnel—in a letter that asks for the PATRIOT Act to be used against American parents,” the senators wrote to Garland.
The lawmakers cited a recently uncovered email thread between two NSBA officials that links “writing a letter to provide information to the White House” to “a request by Secretary Cardona.”
“We are concerned about the prospect of the Secretary of Education requesting that a trade association write a letter to the President of the United States so that you, the Attorney General, might have the requisite cover to deploy federal law enforcement in such a questionable manner,” the senators continued.
The senators asked Garland several questions, including when the attorney general first learned of Cardona’s request and why the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI is administering a threat tag entitled “EDUOFFICIALS.”
“By involving the National Security Division and the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI in local matters, you have created widespread fear that the national security apparatus of the United States is keeping tabs on them,” the senators concluded.
Kennedy and the other Republican members of the Judiciary Committee also sent a letter to Cardona questioning him about his involvement with the NSBA.
“It appears that you, the Secretary of Education, instructed a trade association to write a letter to the President of the United States so that the Attorney General might have the requisite cover to deploy federal law enforcement in a manner so as to scare American parents out of speaking freely at school-board meetings and petitioning their local governments,” the senators wrote to Cardona.
The senators previously wrote letters to Garland on Dec. 6 and Oct. 7, 2021 criticizing the DOJ crackdown on parents’ freedom of speech and asking Garland to withdraw the memo targeting parents.
The letter to Garland is available here.
To letter to Cardona is available here.