Garland Refuses to Denounce Memo That Incited Counterterrorism Measures Against Parents

Jillian Schneider | September 29, 2009

(The Lion) — U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland refused to distance himself from the controversial memo branding parents as “domestic terrorists.”

In a hearing with the House Judiciary Committee on last week, Garland skirted questions from Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, about an infamous memo which referred to parents who protested school board meetings as “domestic terrorists.”

The memo in question was sent to President Biden from the National School Board Association (NSBA) in September 2021, prompting action from Garland’s DOJ.

Citing examples, wuch as receiving angry letters regarding mask mandates, the NSBA claimed “these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”  

Less than a week later, Garland sent a memo to the FBI and U.S. Attorneys on the same topic, albeit without the NSBA’s inflammatory language. 

When the memos came to light, dozens of state school board associations distanced themselves from the NSBA’s actions, despite the national group’s apology. Other state associations left the national organization. 

The scandal also implicated U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.  

But when pressed by Roy on whether his memo was rescinded, Garland refused to denounce it. 

“There’s nothing to rescind,” Garland said. “The memo was intended to have meetings within 30 days… The 30 days have finished. Nothing has happened in more than a year and a half with respect to that.” 

As a result of Garland’s memo, the FBI’s Counterterrorism and Criminal Divisions created a new “threat tag” for dozens of parents who were perceived as threats toward school officials.  

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who is also Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, even said there is “specific evidence that federal law enforcement operationalized counterterrorism tools at the behest of a left-wing special interest group against concerned parents.”  

The committee also questioned Garland about the Department of Justice’s anti-Catholic activity and the Biden family’s alleged crimes, which the AG also downplayed.