Featured Image

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — There was no “legitimate” basis for Attorney General Merrick Garland’s memo that ordered federal law enforcement to keep a close eye on parents and activists who attended school board meetings to oppose LGBT policies, COVID mandates, and curriculum issues, a U.S. House of Representatives committee recently concluded.

The report is an interim staff report from the Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. It is looking into the recent targeting of conservatives by federal law enforcement under President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland. This report looked into an October 4, 2021, memo from the DOJ that warned of alleged threats to schools because of activists who voiced opposition to liberal school policies.

It was later revealed to be written in close coordination with some staff at the National School Boards Association and Biden administration officials. One draft originally proposed by the NSBA floated the idea of calling in military police in some situations. The memo also compared parents and activists to domestic terrorists.

The March 21 report found that the administration “misused federal law-enforcement and counterterrorism resources for political purposes.”

“After surveying local law enforcement, U.S. Attorney’s offices around the country reported back to Main Justice that there was no legitimate law-enforcement basis for the Attorney General’s directive to use federal law-enforcement and counterterrorism resources to investigate school board-related threats,” the report stated.

It includes input from federal prosecutors and local law enforcement who found the memo was unhelpful, not grounded in reality, and only contributed to further distrust of government. “No one I spoke with in law enforcement seemed to think that there is a serious national threat directed at school boards, which gave the impression that our priorities are misapplied,” one federal prosecutor testified.

The documents received confirmed an “absence of a legitimate nationwide basis for the Attorney General’s directive to insert federal law enforcement into local school board matters,” the report stated.

The initial NSBA letter to the DOJ cited one parent who had to be taken out of a meeting for unruly behavior. It was later revealed through reporting from the Daily Wire that that parent was trying to speak out against the cover-up of the rape of his daughter by a cross-dressing male student. The cover-up by school officials later led to an indictment of Loudoun County Public Schools superintendent Scott Ziegler.

The House weaponization document noted:

It appears, from these documents and the information received previously, that the
Administration’s actions were a political offensive meant to quell swelling discord over
controversial education curricula and unpopular school board decisions. The Attorney General’s directive came just weeks before a pivotal gubernatorial election in Virginia, in which education policies were hotly debated and a local school board’s actions were under intense scrutiny.

The inference from the initial tranche of subpoenaed documents is that the Justice Department’s actions were a reaction to these political circumstances rather than a legitimate law-enforcement response to any serious, nationwide threat.

The FBI even used a special “threat tag” to label “moms and dads” as people of interest as previously revealed. An email obtained by the House Judiciary Committee in November 2021 from the Counterterrorism and Criminal Division of the FBI showed that the bureau used the tag EDUOFFICIALS to monitor threats against education officials nationwide, a tag that whistleblowers say was used to launch investigations into parents, LifeSiteNews previously reported.

Report decries ‘dangerous’ actions by law enforcement

“This weaponization of law-enforcement powers against American parents exercising their First Amendment rights is dangerous,” the document further stated.

There will also be ongoing reports, according to the committee document. “While the documents produced to date help to better understand what transpired, they do not tell the whole story. The Committee and the Select Subcommittee will continue to pursue the relevant facts to inform legislative reforms to protect American civil liberties.”

The NSBA memo in October 2021 appeared to be just the beginning of ongoing attempts by President Joe Biden and his team to target conservative individuals for sharing views at odds with the White House.

For example, the DOJ continues to arrest, sometimes using predawn raids, pro-life individuals on questionable charges. As first reported by LifeSiteNews, armed federal agents conducted a predawn raid on Mark Houck’s home in Pennsylvania in September 2022.

The raid on the pro-life father was conducted to arrest him on an old battery charge related to his pushing an aggressive abortion facility “escort” away from harassing his son. A state court had already thrown out the charge when Attorney General Merrick Garland’s DOJ picked it back up in an ultimately failed attempt to convict a pro-lifer on violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act).

Houck’s case should not be confused with a separate federal raid on another pro-life father several weeks later.

In October 2022, the FBI raided the home of pro-life advocate Paul Vaughn in front of his children and arrested him, charging him with “conspiracy against rights secured by the FACE Act, and committing FACE Act violations,” as previously reported by LifeSiteNews.

Vaughn, the married father of 11 children, told the Daily Signal that the FBI came to his home in Centerville, Tennessee, with “guns pointed at the door, banging on the house, yelling and screaming, ‘Open up. FBI.’” 

More recently, the FBI’s Richmond field office, in a memo signed off on by its top attorney, released an intelligence report which labeled traditional Catholics who like the Latin Mass or express skepticism about the benefits of the Second Vatican Council as “radical traditionalist Catholic[s).”

The FBI withdrew the memo after backlash. The intelligence product relied on questionable sources, including the disgraced leftist Southern Poverty Law Center and an Atlantic article that fretted about Rosary prayer beads being a symbol of extremists.