FIRST ON FOX – Sen. Josh Hawley on Tuesday tore into Attorney General Merrick Garland over a memo he issued Monday night time directing the FBI and different Department of Justice entities to deal with figuring out and prosecuting threats of violence and harassment of faculty officers and board members.

The memo got here after months of faculty board conferences nationwide that always featured contentious exchanges between officers and fogeys who oppose controversial insurance policies like masks mandates, instructing crucial race idea and extra. 

In some instances, dad and mom have been kicked out of conferences for refusing to put on masks, resulting in allegations that college boards had been attempting to silence dissent. In one particular occasion, a complete college board was compelled to resign after sizzling mic feedback confirmed board members mocking involved dad and mom. 

“All around the country, Americans are speaking out against the radical racist ideology sometimes called ‘critical race theory.'” Hawley wrote in a letter to Garland. “Americans have responded to this radical ideology by winning elections for local school boards and protesting peacefully at school board meetings. Yet your memo yesterday to the FBI and local U.S. Attorneys ignored all of this and warned of an insurgence of ‘threats of violence’ and ‘efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views.’”

DOJ LAUNCHING EFFORT TO COMBAT THREATS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST SCHOOL OFFICIALS

“I certainly share your view that threats of violence have no place in this country, but the backdrop of your memo strongly suggests that your concern is not violence, but democratic pushback against critical race theory,” the senator continued. 

Hawley mentioned Garland and the DOJ ought to keep out of “regular democratic activity” and that it “provided no evidence of actual, genuine threats of violence.” Instead, Hawley alleged, the DOJ is solely aiming to color opponents of crucial race idea as “enemies of the republic.” 

Hawley’s letter asks Garland’s workplace to offer him with any supplies the DOJ plans to disseminate in reference to the legal professional common’s memo, and a listing of who was consulted because the memo was ready. 

Garland’s memo got here shortly after a letter from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) to President Biden that mentioned some rhetorical clashes between college boards and fogeys are going too far and quantity to threats towards board members. 

“The National School Boards Association (NSBA) respectfully asks for federal law enforcement and other assistance to deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation,” it mentioned within the letter final week. 

“As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes,” it added. 

Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Hawley wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday regarding his memo on threats to school board members. (Photographer: Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, speaks throughout a Senate Judiciary Committee listening to in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Hawley wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday concerning his memo on threats to high school board members. (Photographer: Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner/Bloomberg by way of Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

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The letter detailed a number of cases of this alleged sample, together with college board conferences being disrupted, an individual being arrested at an Illinois college board assembly, and a letter from a person saying a college board member will “pay dearly” for supporting masks mandates. 

In a memo Monday, Garland enthusiastically agreed with the NSBA. 

“While spirited debate about policy matters is protected under the Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views,” Garland mentioned. “Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to the nation’s core values.”

Garland instructed the FBI to take the lead on a process drive to deal with threats towards college officers, together with making a centralized method to report such threats. 

Hawley mentioned that the timing of the Garland memo was extremely suspect as a result of it instantly adopted the NSBA letter. Hawley alleged that the NSBA letter is just not actually about violence and as a substitute about college boards not having the ability to take criticism.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announces a lawsuit to block the enforcement of a new Texas law that bans most abortions, at the Justice Department in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. Garland on Monday announced that the FBI will look into alleged threats and harassment against school board officials. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Attorney General Merrick Garland declares a lawsuit to dam the enforcement of a brand new Texas legislation that bans most abortions, on the Justice Department in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. Garland on Monday introduced that the FBI will look into alleged threats and harassment towards college board officers. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“Your announcement arrives immediately after the Biden administration received a letter from the National School Boards Association, which laid out a litany of complaints against the widespread criticisms of local school boards that are being leveled by concerned parents,” Hawley wrote. 

“The letter denounced as ‘propaganda’ the criticism that schools are pushing critical race theory into classrooms,” he added. “It further asserted, without explanation, that ‘extremist hate organizations are ’showing up at school board meetings’ and ‘spreading misinformation that boards are adopting critical race theory curriculum.’ The NSBA’s letter is pure gaslighting.”

Hawley additionally questioned Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco in regards to the memo throughout a Tuesday listening to. Hawley alleged that the memo was designed to relax dad and mom’ speech in school board conferences as a result of the memo didn’t outline the phrases harassment and intimidation, and subsequently might embody some annoyed dad and mom’ speech relying on how it’s utilized by the federal government. 

Monaco shot again that the memo is simply about violence and threats of violence, and it is the function of the FBI deal with these threats.