Jim Jordan seeks subpoenas in DOJ memo based on letter comparing parents to domestic terrorists

NSBA coordinated with White House before sending school board memo

Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett says Attorney General Garland is ‘weaponizing’ the Department of Justice to silence parents who voice dissent at school board meetings.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, has asked Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the committee’s chairman, to issue subpoenas to investigate the Department of Justice memo about disturbances at school board meetings, which followed a now-rescinded letter to President Biden that compared concerned parents to domestic terrorists.

“We are investigating the troubling attempts by the Department of Justice and the White House to use the heavy hand of federal law enforcement—including federal counterterrorism tools—to target concerned parents at local school board meetings and chill their protected First Amendment activity,” Jordan wrote in a letter he sent to Nadler on Thursday.

Jordan noted that House Republicans on the committee had sent several letters to the Biden administration and the National School Boards Association – the organization that sent the letter comparing parents to domestic terrorists – requesting documents, but they have not received any material to date. Therefore, “we ask that you notice consideration of subpoenas for these documents at the next business meeting.”

Representative Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, speaks to the press in the Rayburn House Office building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, June 4, 2021. Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
(Ting Shen)

Jordan requested subpoenas for NSBA President Dr. Viola Garcia, Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

Garcia, whom the Department of Education later named to a federal board, sent a memo to NSBA members on Oct. 11 (but dated Oct. 12), providing a timeline of the NSBA’s interaction with the White House ahead of the letter to Biden, which the NSBA sent on Sept. 29. Five days later, on Oct. 4, the DOJ issued a memo directing law enforcement to investigate threats to school boards. On Oct. 22, the NSBA issued an apology for the letter. 

Jordan cited NSBA internal documents like that memo, claiming that “the Biden Administration colluded with a special interest group to orchestrate a letter urging for federal law enforcement intervention against a set of citizens who opposed the far-left policies favored by the Biden Administration. That letter served as the basis for the Attorney General to weaponize federal law enforcement and counterterrorism tools against those same citizens for exercising their right to direct the upbringing and education of their children.”

FILE – May 8. 2019 file photo of House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“This information is scandalous and we have good reason to believe that the Biden Administration and the NSBA possess additional material that is necessary and important for our investigation,” Jordan added.

The Republican faulted Nadler for failing to help in this investigation previously.

“We have also repeatedly asked that you convene hearings on the Biden Administration’s targeting of parents, but you have failed to act,” he wrote.

“Last Congress, when you aggressively pursued politicized and debunked allegations against President Trump, you promised that the Committee would ‘not rest’ until it obtained the material it sought,” Jordan added. “We ask that you remain consistent in applying this standard.”

Nadler’s office did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment on the subpoenas by press time.

(Source: Oregon School Boards Association)
(Oregon School Boards Association)

Parents have spoken up at school board meetings around the country, protesting harsh COVID-19 mitigation measures like school closures, and raising their voices against transgender policies, critical race theory, and other issues. The letter warned that these parents pose a violent threat to school boards, even going so far as comparing them to domestic terrorists.

The fallout from the letter has proven particularly severe. Ohio’s, Wisconsin‘s, and the school boards of at least nine other states have reportedly terminated their relationships with NSBA, and parent’s education rights organizations have grown in prominence since the letter. The letter may have also emboldened concerned parents who supported Republican Glenn Youngkin, who won the Virginia governor’s race last month. Meanwhile, Garland has stood by the memo.

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