FBI's Damage Control on Investigation of Parents Makes Things Even Worse

Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP

We reported yesterday that an FBI whistleblower had leaked some disturbing information to Congress. The information was an email showing that, contrary to Attorney General Merrick Garland’s testimony before Congress that the DOJ/FBI wasn’t treating parents objecting to school board actions as “domestic terrorists,” their Counterterrorism unit was in fact involved in looking into the issue, and putting “threat tags” on all “investigations and assessments of threats specifically directed against school board administrations, board members, teachers, and staff.”


Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) demanded that Garland answer why this was different from Garland’s prior testimony, and asked that he come back before Congress to explain all this.

Rep. Jordan said that the whistleblower’s “disclosure provides specific evidence that federal law enforcement operationalized counterterrorism tools at the behest of a left-wing special interest group against concerned parents,” meaning at the behest of the National School Boards Association.

Here’s the FBI email in question.

The FBI responded and, in so doing, they did themselves more harm than good. They tried to argue this was standard practice and that parents objecting to school actions were just like drug or human traffickers.

“A tag is merely a statistical tool to track information and for review and reporting. The creation of a threat tag in no way changes the long-standing requirements for opening an investigation,” the FBI released in a statement. “Nor does it represent in a shift in how the FBI prioritizes threats. The FBI has used tags to track everything from drug trafficking to human trafficking.”


How nice, to class parents in with drug and human traffickers — that should go over well.

Notice what they didn’t do is answer why the Counterterrorism unit is involved. What they didn’t do was list any federal crimes that justify this action. As we have reported before, Merrick Garland was asked by Congress to produce the data of the threats to justify this action, and he has failed to do so.

It isn’t normal in the slightest, because threats to school officials aren’t generally a federal issue: they’re a state/local issue. If they are having the FBI involved, what is the federal justification to begin with for all this? They skipped right over that part.

Indeed, if you look at the whistleblower email, the FBI Counterterrorism email asks the same question — they want their agents to be looking for any “federal nexus” (meaning something that justifies federal involvement), any potential federal violations involved, and “what the motivation for the crime is.”

But that isn’t the way that this is supposed to work. You aren’t supposed to be in search of a crime, trying to bootstrap and justify your involvement. They want to know the “motivation of the crime”? That surely does sound like they are targeting possible political motivation.



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