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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

McConnell slams Garland for college board memo, says father or mother protests are ‘democracy, not intimidation’

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FIRST ON FOX: Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell on Friday despatched a letter to Lawyer Common Merrick Garland asking him to make clear what his current memo on “harassment” and “intimidation” of college officers by dad and mom means, together with whether or not recall election efforts quantity to intimidation that must be investigated by the police. 

The letter follows days of shock over the lawyer basic’s memo, which got here shortly after a letter from the Nationwide College Boards Affiliation (NSBA) to President Biden that stated some rhetorical clashes between faculty boards and oldsters could quantity to “home terrorism.” 

Garland’s memo advised the FBI to take the lead on a process pressure to deal with threats towards faculty officers, together with making a centralized option to report such threats. 

“‘[Y]ou directed federal legislation enforcement to associate with state and native governments to deal with ‘threats of violence, and different types of intimidation and harassment’ of ‘faculty directors, board members, academics and workers’ in public colleges,” McConnell wrote of Garland’s letter. “The memorandum purports to reply to a ‘disturbing spike’ in threats and harassment towards these officers – though it is silent as to the supposed perpetrators or any precise predicates for this motion.” 


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McConnell added: “Your memorandum’s ominous rhetoric does not mirror the truth of what now we have seen at schoolboards throughout the nation in current month.”

The minority chief is way from the primary Republican elected official to assault Garland over the timing and tone of his letter. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., stated earlier this week that appeared Garland’s memo was merely an effort to go after opponents of essential race idea. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., in the meantime known as Garland’s memo “politically motivated abuse of energy.” 

However that the highest Republican within the U.S. Senate is weighing in as effectively signifies that the GOP will not be going to let this concern fade into the background, and that Justice Division officers showing earlier than Congress can seemingly anticipate to face robust questions on essential race idea and this memo for fairly a while. 

McConnell continues within the memo to sentence “violence, threats of violence and different prison conduct” as “all the time flawed” – together with the few occasions this yr police has wanted to get entangled to restrain unruly dad and mom at college board conferences. However, McConnell continued, the widespread outrage towards essential race idea will not be one thing legislation enforcement must be concerned in monitoring. 

Lawyer Common Merrick Garland departs after talking on the Justice Division in Washington, on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Garland sparked outrage with a memo many Republicans interpreted as an invite for the FBI to start investigating involved dad and mom at college board conferences. (Win McNamee/Pool by way of AP)
(Win McNamee/Pool by way of AP)

“Mother and father completely must be telling their native colleges what to show. That is the very foundation of consultant authorities,” McConnell stated. “They do that each in elections and  – as protected by the First Modification of the Structure – whereas petitioning their authorities for redress of grievance. Telling elected officers they’re flawed is democracy, not intimidation.” 

McConnell additional raised considerations concerning the work of essential race idea backers to go after the very dad and mom Republicans consider Garland’s memo targets. He particularly famous that one Loudon County, Va., official was a member of a Fb group that mentioned hacking the web sites of oldsters, whereas one other was “a member of a gaggle looking for to ‘doxx’ involved dad and mom.”

McConnell additionally asks whether or not Garland’s workplace consulted with anybody from the NSBA, the group whose letter to Biden is extensively believed to have been the impetus for Garland’s memo.


DOJ officers have defended Garland’s memo in a number of Senate hearings this week. Deputy Lawyer Common Lisa Monaco, below questioning from Hawley, stated the memo is just about violence and threats of violence, and it is the position of the FBI tackle these threats. 

Assistant Lawyer Common Kristen Clarke stated in a separate listening to that the Justice Division doesn’t see dad and mom as a risk and that the lawyer basic’s memo is just centered on threats and intimidation. 

“The First Modification is a core worth of our democracy,” Clarke stated. “The Lawyer basic’s memo offers with threats towards public servants and says that threats towards public servants usually are not solely unlawful, they run counter to our nation’s core values.”

She additional clarified that she doesn’t consider dad and mom objecting in class board conferences are home terrorists. 

Fox Information’ Liz Friden contributed to this report.

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