Wray: No Evidence for Garland to Target Protesting Parents, But FBI Made Threat Tag to Identify Them
“I think the FBI conducted itself the way it should here, which we’ve considered and continue to follow long-standing rules that have not changed anything in response to that memo.”
In 2021, parents protested Critical Race Theory at school board meetings. The National Association of School Boards cried to the DOJ to protect them from these “domestic terrorists.” Attorney General Merrick Garland directed the FBI to target those parents.
We even learned that Secretary Cardona requested the letter from the NSBA
The House Judiciary Committee concluded the DOJ had no evidence to issue the directive.
On Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray admitted no evidence existed for Garland to issue the memo but wouldn’t apologize for the FBI’s role:
“This committee’s investigation concluded that the Justice Department’s own documents demonstrated it was no compelling justification for the attorney general’s directive. Do you have any reason to dispute that conclusion?” Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-CA) asked on Wednesday.
“No,” Wray said.
The California congressman continued to press the FBI director about having “no evidence” for targeting parents.
“So we had an investigation of parents, we had a sweeping mobilization of federal power against the most protected core First Amendment activity, the right of citizens to speak and petition their government on the most important issues, the education of their children. And you are telling me that the entire basis for that, there was no evidence to support it?”
“Well, I want to be clear, we, the FBI, as I said, we’re not and did not investigate people for exercising their First Amendment rights,” Wray responded.
“Should Attorney General Garland rescind that memo? Should they?” Kiley asked.
“That’s a question for the attorney general,” Wray shot back.
“Do you believe that the attorney general should apologize to parents for the subject of that memo?” Kiley asked Wray.
“I’m not going to speak to that,” the FBI director said.
Kiley added, “Will you apologize for the FBI’s own role?”
“I think the FBI conducted itself the way it should here, which we’ve considered and continue to follow long-standing rules that have not changed anything in response to that memo,” Wray said.
FBI Director Wray agrees there was “no compelling nationwide law enforcement justification” for AG Garland’s directive for the FBI to surveil parents attending their children’s school board meetings, but refuses to say whether Garland should rescind the memo. pic.twitter.com/Nlvdal2goK
— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) July 12, 2023
Wray told Rep. Laurel Lee (R-FL) the FBI identified those parents with a threat tag:
“Is it correct that in 2021 the FBI created a threat tag specifically designed to identify parents attending school board meetings?” Lee asked at the hearing.
“Uh, yes, but I think it’s important for people to understand what a threat tag is and is not. It is not what we base investigations on. It is not an investigative tool. It’s an administrative function in our system, ” he said. “It doesn’t change anything in how we investigate.”
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