GOP Accuses AG Garland of ‘Weaponizing’ DOJ, FBI to Intimidate Anti-CRT Parents — ‘This is Totalitarianism’

US Attorney General Merrick Garland holds a press conference to announce a lawsuit against Texas at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC on September 9, 2021 - The US Justice Department filed suit against the state of Texas on Thursday over its new law that bans abortions after six …
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Republicans blasted Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday after he directed the FBI to pursue law-abiding Critical Race Theory (CRT) opponents in order to “protect” school administrators and staff, citing concerns of a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” without citing specific cases.

In a memorandum issued Monday, Garland stated that threats to public servants are not only illegal but “run counter to our nation’s core values.” 

His stated 30-day plan which aims to combat the reported issue, includes the FBI working with attorneys throughout the country to discuss “strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff, and will open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response.” 

In response, Republicans blasted Garland, many accusing the attorney general of “weaponizing” the Department of Justice (DOJ) and seeking to silence any dissent.

At his confirmation hearing, Merrick Garland promised not to follow the Obama model of weaponizing DOJ to target & persecute his political opponents,” wrote Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

“Just a few months in, he’s already breaking that promise,” he added.

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) declared his intention to defend free speech against Garland’s “intimidation.” 

Attorney General Garland is weaponizing the DOJ by using the FBI to pursue concerned parents and silence them through intimidation,” DeSantis wrote.

“Florida will defend the free speech rights of its citizens and will not allow federal agents to squelch dissent,” he added.

“Overseas, political factions within nations refer to their adversaries as domestic ‘terrorists’. It’s over the top & is now starting up here in the US with the left targeting caring, passionate parents, and other Americans who have rights and good intentions,” wrote Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY), who is campaigning to be governor of New York.

“This needs to stop!” he added.

“I just asked the Biden DOJ to name one instance in American history when the FBI has been directed to go after parents attending school board meetings to express their views. There isn’t one,” wrote Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO).

“Biden’s latest offensive against parents is shocking, unprecedented and wrong,” he added.

“Now Joe Biden is deploying the FBI against parents who have concerns about Critical Race Theory being taught to their children,” he wrote in another tweet.

“This is a remarkable and dangerous abuse of power,” he added.

“Record spike in murders & drug deaths—not a priority for Biden’s DOJ,” wrote Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR). “But when parents are concerned about CRT in schools, Biden throws the weight of the federal government against them.”

“It won’t work,” he added.

“Parents are speaking out against Critical Race Theory in schools. Now the Biden administration is cracking down on dissent,” he wrote in another tweet.

“Democrats on chaos in Portland: ‘mostly peaceful.’ Democrats on parents upset about Critical Race Theory: ‘domestic terrorism,’” wrote Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

One of the hopeful things happening in our country is parents mobilizing against Critical Race Theory,” wrote Ohio Republican senate primary contender J.D. Vance.

“Merrick Garland has decided those uppity patriots must be silenced,” he added. “We won’t let him.”

“After protesting CRT, these parents should put on BLM shirts, shout ‘no justice, no peace’ and then throw Molotov cocktails at school board members,” he wrote in another tweet.

“Then our attorney general will praise them for their courage and the Ford Foundation will shower them with money,” he added.

“Garland’s attempt to bully parents who are upset over Critical Race Theory indoctrination of their children is un-American,” wrote Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Sean Parnell.

“Not only should CRT be banned in schools, but no entity teaching this racist garbage should be allowed to get a single penny from taxpayers,” he added.

“Instead of stopping drug cartels and the spike in violent crime, AG Garland is focused on treating parents like terrorists,” wrote Colorado Rep. Ken Buck.

“Parents have every right to express their First Amendment rights with elected officials. Totally shameful!” he added.

“It is outrageous that DOJ leadership thinks it is acceptable to use the FBI to intimidate parents who are concerned about what their children are being taught and are exercising their 1st Amendment rights,” he wrote in another tweet.

“Garland must answer for this abuse of power NOW,” he added.

“Dem rioters and Antifa destroy cities and threaten to burn it all to the ground if Trump won, and @FBI Director Wray and AG Garland are silent,” wrote Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC). 

“But parents speaking up about their children being taught #CRT poison? Label them ‘domestic terrorists,’” he added. “Truly sickening.”

“The DOJ has been fully weaponized and is now Biden’s chief force for domestic intimidation and terror,” wrote Florida state Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R).

“Florida and other Red States must sever any/all ties with the FBI IMMEDIATELY and BAN all inter-agency agreements with our State or any law enforcement agency in our State NOW!” he added.

“Then after this first step, every Red State must then pass a law to criminalize and eject any FBI agent acting pursuant to the CRT Order above who is within the the State,” he wrote in another tweet. “This needs to happen immediately.”

“AG Garland should be called to the floor of Congress to explain why he’s using federal law enforcement to intimidate law abiding citizens,” wrote congressional candidate Joe Kent.

“Dismantling the national security state is essential for the preservation of our nation,” he added.

“Any parent impacted by this phrase notify my office. We’ll put this is in the pile of things to go after leftists for,” wrote Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX).

“Do you see now why this asshat shouldn’t be on SCOTUS?” he added.

“Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse or scarier coming from the Biden Admin they are now threatening to use the Patriot Act against parents who protest their kids getting indoctrinated in schools,” wrote Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN).

“This is outrageous and infuriating!!” he added.

“Holding hearings to learn how Democrats have abused surveillance powers against Americans should be a top oversight priority for Republicans when we win back the House!!” he wrote in another tweet.

“For 18 months, parents have been ignored by school boards across the country. Now, as they push back against CRT & other issues, the Biden Admin is weaponizing the power of the federal government to silence them,” wrote Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO).

“This is targeted political persecution,” he added. “I’ll be fighting back.”

“Over the past week, top Democrats have said: They don’t think you should have a say in what schools teach your children. If you speak out at your school board meeting, they’ll label you as a threat,” wrote  Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.).

“My message to parents: Never stop speaking out on behalf of your children,” he added.

“I am outraged that the Biden Administration has directed the FBI to investigate parents for daring to oppose the teaching of Critical Race Theory to their children,” wrote Montana Congressman Matt Rosendale.

“What’s next for this administration?” he asked. “Threatening to send concerned parents to Gitmo?”

Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert mocked the FBI for its wasted efforts investigating “conservative parents” among other matters instead of truly concerning matters.

“Labeling parents as threats because they hold elected school board members accountable for what’s going on in the classroom is a clear attempt to silence political opposition,” wrote Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT).

“This is totalitarianism and the media used to be against it,” wrote Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL).

“Joe Biden’s attorney general wants the @FBI to go after parents for speaking out at school board meetings to protect kids from radical curriculum like critical race theory,” wrote Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL).

“Biden’s disgusting socialist agenda must end,” he added. “We won’t let him intimidate & silence parents.”

Garland’s move follows the penning of a letter to President Joe Biden by the National School Boards Association (NSBA), requesting “federal law enforcement and other assistance” in coping with concerned parents frustrated by their children being forced to wear masks in school all day and learn critical race theory.

It comes as the battle over CRT in schools has resulted in nationwide tension.

The theory, which is promoted by many on the left, claims that American institutions — the government, economy, and culture — are based on racial hierarchy, with white people at the top and black people at the bottom, and even that which appears race-neutral is, on closer inspection, rooted in racism. As a result, it urges reform in virtually all of its institutions.

In June, a former Democrat congressional candidate called on Americans to listen to black parents who oppose CRT “indoctrination” in schools, while calling on black Americans to reject the Democrat Party’s race narrative and, instead, realize “that their skin color is not a barrier to their progress,” adding that Democrats use race to galvanize black electorate support though many black Americans actually “have conservative ideals.”

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.

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