‘I hope DOJ reconsiders’: FBI personnel blindsided by Attorney General Garland’s memo targeting parents

Daily Caller News Foundation

Attorney General Merrick Garland’s October 2021 directive for the FBI to “use its authority” on parents who protested at school board meetings blindsided the government agency’s personnel, according to a Thursday report.

Following Garland’s directive, Assistant Director of the FBI Counterterrorism Division Tim Lagan notified his colleagues that he was working to “track down additional information” regarding the memo, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by America First Legal (AFL), a law firm that focuses on liberty principles. On Tuesday, House Republicans’ found that Garland had “no legitimate basis” to direct the FBI to “use its authority” on parents who protested at school board meetings.

“We have known all along that the timeline at issue – a letter to the President followed by an Attorney General memorandum within days –indicated that the underlying premise for the memorandum was as fake as the Biden Administration’s commitment to the equal application of the law,” Gene Hamilton, America First Legal Vice-President and General Counsel, said in a press release. “The report issued by the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government and the House Judiciary Committee this week confirms our assertions about the Attorney General’s memorandum. And now, the records we are revealing today further show that the memo blindsided the FBI. Stay tuned for more details as we continue our vital work.”

Following Lagan’s email, Miriam Coakley, a senior FBI attorney, wrote that the memo was “just raised to her attention,” the report stated.

“I hope DOJ [Department of Justice] reconsiders,” Coakley wrote.

An employee added Monty Wilkinson, director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, to the chain discussing the order, “asking that the memo be revised” and “reworded,” the report showed.

“It’s a little too late,” Wilkinson’s colleague responded.

Ahead of Garland’s memo, school board meetings had become highly contentious across the country as parents pushed back against COVID-19 policies including, mask mandates, vaccine requirements and remote learning.

The AFL report was released after the Committee on the Judiciary, which is conducting oversight of the Biden administration’s use of law enforcement resources on local parents, found that the FBI opened 25 “guardian assessments,” or tips, into “school board threats,” six of which the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division conducted. One investigation was opened into a mother because she was a gun owner and a member of a “right-wing mom’s group.”

Though 25 “guardian assessments” were opened into the “school board threats,” none have resulted in federal charges or arrests, the report found.

The FBI did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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