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Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is leading fourteen states in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that is requesting all communications and records from the Biden administration on FBI surveillance of parents attending school board meetings.
The lawsuit is being filed against President Biden, Attorney General Merrick Garland, and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. The cited reason for the suit is that officials have failed to respond to FOIA requests.
The communications and records being sought specifically have to do with the FBI’s decision to investigate violent threats against local education officials and an Oct. 4, 2021, school board memo referring to parents as “terrorists.”
“We just want the facts,” Rokita told Fox News in an interview. “Rather than cooperate, the Biden administration has sought to conceal and downplay its culpability. What are they hiding? Why won’t they come clean? Hoosiers and all Americans deserve to know.”
Hoosiers deserve the truth. I’m leading a 14-state lawsuit demanding Biden turn over records related to DOJ efforts to sic the FBI on parents protesting leftist indoctrination in schools. Read more: https://t.co/ZxElQ6X8j3
— Todd Rokita (@AGToddRokita) March 4, 2022
“In today’s lawsuit, Attorney General Rokita asks a U.S. district court to force the Biden administration to respond to the requests for information,” a statement from Rokita asserts.
“In the Oct. 4 memo, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland parroted language from a Sept. 29 letter to the Biden administration from the National School Boards Association (NSBA). That letter lamented the rise of parents pushing back against divisive ideologies, including critical race theory (CRT). It further suggested that protests by parents across the nation were rising to the level of ‘domestic terrorism,’” the statement reads. “Facts then came to light suggesting the NSBA and White House worked together all along to concoct a false premise for targeting parents.”
“On Oct. 18, Attorney General Rokita led a 17-state coalition demanding that the Biden administration rescind its threat to sic the FBI on peacefully protesting parents of schoolchildren,” it continues. “The NSBA eventually apologized for its language comparing parents to domestic terrorists, but the Biden administration has never rescinded its threatening memo.”
“The Biden administration wants to sweep under the rug these inexcusable assaults on parents’ freedom of speech,” Rokita proclaimed. “But we’re fighting for full transparency and accountability for this misconduct so it doesn’t happen again.”
The plaintiffs include Indiana, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton stated, “There is no way the NSBA can justify why they referred to concerned parents across the country as ‘domestic terrorists’ when it is obvious that they are being targeted for their political beliefs. The Biden Administration cannot silence parents for exercising their constitutional rights and treat them like terrorists simply for having concerns about what their children are being taught.”
Parents all over the nation stood up & demanded schools not indoctrinate kids w/ CRT & other un-American views not appropriate for children. Biden’s response? Label them domestic terrorists.
I’m suing for this Admin’s unconscionable treatment of concerned parents. https://t.co/WMYdBg2IKi
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) March 4, 2022
Cardona was allegedly the one who solicited the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) much-criticized letter to Biden that outrageously compared parents protesting issues at school board meetings to domestic terrorists. He then proceeded to suggest that the Patriot Act be used against those parents in an email exchange that was reported by Fox News.
The NSBA apologized for the language in the letter and the Education Department has denied that Cardona solicited it.
Following the receipt of that letter, Garland directed the FBI to dispatch agents to support local education officials. Garland has denied using the “domestic terrorist” label against parents.
“Attorney General Garland testified in Congress that his memorandum was based on a now-debunked and rescinded letter drafted by individuals in the Federal Government (EOP, ED, and DOJ) working with the National School Boards Association (‘NSBA’) dated September 29, 2021,” the lawsuit contends.
“This letter, from the NSBA to President Biden, called on him to invoke ‘the PATRIOT Act in regards to domestic terrorism,’ arguing that as ‘acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes,'” the suit further asserts.
When Cardona was exposed, 41 Republicans demanded his resignation.
Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI) spearheaded the letter to Biden demanding that Cardona be removed. According to Fox News, it demanded he “immediately fire” Cardona over the “now infamous letter.”
“In your inaugural address before the American people, you said, ‘to overcome these challenges- to restore the soul and to secure the future of America-requires more than words. It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy: Unity,’” the letter charges. “Later you said, ‘unity is the path forward.’”
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