White House backtracks on Jim Jordan’s first set of subpoenas

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan issued a flurry of subpoenas Friday attacking federal law enforcement’s strategy in dealing with threats at school board meetings.

The subpoenas — which are issued to Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona — are the first from members of the House GOP judiciary who have long promised to to investigate the alleged “militarization” of the federal government under the administration of President Joe Biden.

Friday’s allegations from Jordan target a memo from Garland issued in October 2021, which directed the FBI to partner with local law enforcement to identify potential threats to local school board meetings.

Clockwise from top left, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, and Attorney General Merrick Garland are pictured. Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, subpoenaed the other three officials for the federal government’s handling of threats to school board meetings.
Drew Angerer/Getty; Mandel Ngan/Pool/AFP via Getty; Joshua Roberts/Getty

According to a Judiciary Committee press release, several whistleblowers revealed shortly after Garland’s memo that “the FBI’s Counterterrorism and Criminal Divisions have created a specific threat label for school board-related threats and have even opened investigations into the parents simply for speaking out on behalf of their children.”

The White House then responded to the pile of subpoenas, saying Jordan was “rushing to issue subpoenas just two days after the Judiciary Committee was set up.”

“These subpoenas make it clear that extreme House Republicans have no interest in working with the Biden administration on behalf of the American people — and any interest in staging political stunts,” reads the statement. statement from Congressional Oversight Spokesman Ian Sams, which was posted on Twitter by Spectrum News correspondent Taylor Popielarz.

According to the Judiciary Committee statement, Biden officials have until March 1 to turn over the requested documents. The committee also noted that since the release of Garland’s memo in October 2021, House Judicial Republicans have sent more than 100 letters to the Biden administration “demanding answers about how the administration has used federal counterterrorism resources against American parents”.

The judicial panel also sent several letters on Jan. 17 asking that federal departments, such as Cardona’s, voluntarily provide outstanding documents that had not been disclosed in previous requests.

Garland’s 2021 directive was released after school board meetings across the country were filled with heated exchanges between parents and administration on topics including COVID-19 regulations and critical health theory. race (CRT).

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) also called on the Biden administration in September 2021 to help stop the upsurge in threats school board members were receiving, likening them to a form of domestic terrorism.

On Friday, an FBI spokesperson responded to Jordan’s subpoenas in a statement obtained by CNN, saying the bureau “has never been tasked with investigating speech or monitoring speech at council meetings. school or elsewhere, and we never will be”.

Newsweek contacted the House Judiciary Committee for comment.


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