Garland grilled by lineup of GOP lawmakers
The attorney general of the United States sat through a grilling by Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Thursday, which left the nation’s top law enforcement officer claiming ignorance about a high school rape and sticking to talking points about a potential conflict of interest with his son-in-law’s business.
In one exchange with Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Arizona), the lawmaker blasted Garland and the Dept. of Justice for choosing to go after innocent parents with only a letter from a national school board association, and news stories, as evidence.
“You chose as a response to a letter from the National School Board Association, and as you said earlier today newspaper accounts,” Biggs pointed out, “to issue a memorandum to organize [a] task force, and investigate, and put a chill on parents’ participation before school boards."
Biggs also grilled Garland about the estimated 1.3 million illegal aliens who have crossed into the U.S. since Joe Biden was inaugurated in January.
“You yourself have acknowledged today that that remains a crime,” Biggs said. “Have you sent a letter or issued a memorandum to U.S. attorneys directing prosecution of these cases?"
“No,” Garland responded, “and the reference of cases comes from the Department of Homeland Security as I mentioned before."
AG Merrick Garland is being grilled today before the House Committee on the Judiciary regarding several controversial issues under his purview (see sidebar). One of those issues is his recent announcement that he was calling upon the FBI and federal prosecutors to investigate dissident parents who publicly criticize local school boards for indoctrinating their children with critical race theory and other leftist ideologies.
The American Freedom Law Center has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Garland, alleging that his effort to criminalize public criticism of local school boards violates the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Robert Muise, co-founder and senior trial counsel for AFLC, accuses Garland of "weaponizing" the office of the attorney general.
"[He is] sending more than just a warning shot across the bow – [it's] really a threat," Muise tells AFN. " [He's essentially saying] 'Watch yourselves. Watch what you saying because the federal government is going to come after you.'"
He adds: "The attorney general and the federal government have zero jurisdiction over local school boards and local school matters – but he doesn't care."
The AFLC attorney explains that one of his clients, Xi Van Fleet, knows firsthand about living under communism.
"She survived the Mao revolution and she saw what was going on in China – and it's exactly what's going on here in the United States. It's absolutely shocking!" Muise exclaims.
In a press statement, Muise says it's clear that the purpose and intended effect of Garland's recent pronouncement is to "silence dissenting opinions" – and that violates the First Amendment.
"These actions by the attorney general … have to be stopped," he tells AFN, "and the way we're fighting back is [by suing] them under the First Amendment and the Fifth Amendment."
The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of five parents and a parent's organization in federal court in Washington, DC.
Editor's note: Sidebar added after story was originally published.