Hawley Calls for Merrick Garland to Resign over FBI School-Board Memo

Hawley Calls for Merrick Garland to Resign over FBI School-Board Memo

Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.,) during Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Washington, D.C., February 22, 2021 (Demetrius Freeman/Reuters)

Republican Senator Josh Hawley has called for U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s resignation over the Justice Department memorandum directing the FBI and federal law enforcement to probe and potentially prosecute “harassment” and “threats” leveled by parents against school board members.

“Merrick Garland mobilized the FBI to intimidate parents without legal basis and, we now know, premised on misinformation he didn’t bother to verify. It was a dangerous abuse of authority that has badly compromised the Justice Dept’s integrity and Garland’s. He should resign,” Hawley tweeted Friday.

Garland testified before the House Judiciary Committee Thursday to answer questions from lawmakers regarding the memo. During the hearing, he denied that the memo constituted a financial conflict-of-interest with his son-in-law’s co-founding role at Panorama, a consultancy that sells progressive education materials the likes of which many parents have objected to at school board meetings.

The senator’s demand came after the National School Board Association formally apologized to its members across the country for requesting federal intervention from the Biden administration to potentially target parents who protest at local school board meetings as “domestic terrorists.”

Garland issued the original order in response to the NSBA letter authored by executive director Chip Slaven, who did not consult the organization’s board of directors and at least 19 state school board association chapters before sending it, nonprofit Parents Defending Education revealed.

The NSBA also coordinated with the White House to iron out the details of the letter asking for federal involvement to determine whether parent “threats” qualify as domestic terrorism under the Patriot Act, the Washington Free Beacon first reported. Of the 24 incidents cited in the letter, the vast majority did not involve physical threats but rather tense verbal exchanges and disruption by parents attending school board meetings.

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