Rep. Cline to Newsmax: AG Garland Must Testify on FBI’s Parent Surveillance

Rep. Cline to Newsmax: AG Garland Must Testify on FBI's Parent Surveillance U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. (Alex Wong/Getty)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Wednesday, 17 November 2021 01:27 PM

Attorney General Merrick Garland must be brought back before the House Judiciary Committee to testify about "why the FBI is lying to Congress" in the wake of a new report that says the FBI has been tracking threats agains teachers and school board members, Rep. Ben Cline told Newsmax Wednesday.

"We took him at his word when he said that they were not targeting parents who were expressing their First Amendment rights," the Virginia Republican said on Newsmax's "National Report."

"Now we find out that they are using FBI resources to essentially treat parents as domestic terrorists, and it's just uncalled for and we need to call him to account.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the FBI has set up a process for tracking the threats and moved to implement a Justice Department memo issued in October that GOP lawmakers and law-enforcement officials said may target parents who are lawfully protesting the policies in their kids' schools.

The newspaper reviewed an Oct. 20 memo from the heads of the FBI's criminal and counterterrorism divisions that told agents to use a "threat tag" to flag assessments and investigations of people threatening educators. Agents were also told to consider the motivation behind the criminal activity and to tag threats with the code "EDUOFFICIALS" to better track them.

FBI Director Christopher Wray has defended the memo, but Garland has not apologized, said Cline. As a result, the attorney general needs to acknowledge the FBI lied about its contacts with the National School Boards Association, which sparked the federal officials' response in a since-rescinded letter.

"They have lied about tagging parents and targeting parents who are expressing their First Amendment, and they need to remove themselves from what is a local law enforcement matter," Cline added.

"It is not a nationwide concern that warrants the FBI using its anti-terrorism law enforcement powers to go after parents," said Cline. "This is all about squelching dissent as the liberal left tries to inject race and sex into our classrooms more and more through CRT (Critical Race Theory). That's what led to Glenn Youngkin's victory in Virginia, a rejection of this type of politicization of our children's education."

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing for a vote on the "Build Back Better" bill, but Cline, like others, is demanding a score from the Congressional Budget Office before the count on the bill is taken.

This is just Nancy. Pelosi trying to rush the bill through essentially once again, like with Obamacare saying, you have to pass the bill before you can find out what's in it," he said.

"And what is in it is apparently amnesty for illegals. The Green New Deal, you have an expansion of social programs over 150 new federal programs. Tax breaks for the rich tax increases for working American families and small businesses. It is a socialist dream, and we're just hopeful that there are a few reasonable Democrats out there."

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