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‘What are you afraid of?’ House hearing erupts when Nadler blocks Jim Jordan from showing a video

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A House Judiciary Committee hearing featuring testimony from Attorney General Merrick Garland got off to a fiery start on Thursday as the Democratic chairman and GOP ranking member argued over a video showing parents interacting with school board members.

After Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the ranking member, began his remarks by objecting to a Biden administration proposal to authorize the IRS to have access to Americans’ bank accounts to monitor financial transactions, he informed committee chair Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) that Republican members had a video to present.

At that, Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.), the committee’s vice-chair, rose to object and asked Jordan if Republicans had followed a “48-hour rule” in submitting the video to the committee in advance for approval. After Jordan said that Republicans had done so, Dean pushed back and asked Nadler to sustain her objection, which he did, effectively ruling that the video can’t be shown.

Jordan appealed, but Nadler pushed back and said that the appeal was “out of order” because his ruling could not be challenged.

“That’s out of order. This is not debatable,” said the New York Democrat.

“What’s out of order is there is no rule that requires a 48-hour notice, that’s what out of order,” Jordan responded.

“There is such a rule,” Nadler said.

“There is not!” Jordan fired back.

As the two-panel leaders exchanged words, another member, presumably a Republican, said, “Mr. Chairman, what are you afraid of?”

The back-and-forth continued as Nadler eventually read the 48-hour protocol, leading Jordan to eventually yield back the remainder of his time, complaining that to Democrats, “obviously you’re going to censor us, which is sorta the conduct of the Left today it seems.”

House Judiciary Republicans eventually posted the video to their Twitter.

The 3:48 video contains an amalgam of clips featuring parents at various school board meetings in districts around the country peacefully speaking out against curricula they disagree with such as critical race theory, transgender materials, and sexually explicit books in school libraries. Several clips featured black parents railing against CRT, and some feature emotional — but peaceful — responses.

In all, the video was pushback on AG Merrick Garland’s directive to U.S. attorneys and the FBI earlier this month instructing them to look into complaints from a national school board organization claiming parents were threatening school board members and were behaving, in some cases, like “domestic terrorists.”

“Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values,” said AG Garland in a statement. “Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety.”

“The Department takes these incidents seriously and is committed to using its authority and resources to discourage these threats, identify them when they occur, and prosecute them when appropriate,” Garland noted further in a memo. “In the coming days, the Department will announce a series of measures designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel.”

Garland’s directive and testimony drew a sharp response from conservative columnist, lawyer, and author David Limbaugh, brother of the late talk show giant Rush Limbaugh.

“It is scary that this robotic fascist almost became a Sup Ct. justice. ‘Violence and threats of violence.’ How many times will he say it? Why can’t our existing criminal laws cover this? How in the hell is this a federal matter? Not to mention the hyperbole about the ‘violence,'” Limbaugh tweeted.

Jon Dougherty

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