House G.O.P. Subpoenas Biden Officials For Investigating School-related Threats

Republicans demanded documents on Friday to investigate whether the government mistreated parents who came under scrutiny after school officials faced threats and harassment over mask mandates and teaching about racism, issuing their first subpoenas to the Biden administration since gaining control of the House.

The chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, sent subpoenas to the attorney general, Merrick B. Garland, the director of the F.B.I., Christopher Wray, and the secretary of education, Miguel A. Cardona, just two days after the new Congress’ Judiciary Committee was established. He accused them of hiding information about whether the government overstepped in investigating parents.

It was a clear indication that the new Republican-led House leaders, who have promised to look into the “weaponization” of the federal government against conservatives, are not wasting any time in using their influence to criticize the Biden administration and have plans to use their gavels to incite culture wars over divisive issues.

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In recent years, politically charged discussions around coronavirus mandates and the teaching of the country’s history of racism have become particularly acrimonious flashpoints in schools, exposing school board members, teachers, and administrators to increasingly ominous threats and harassment. Republicans claim that the Justice Department has harmed conservative parents and tried to quiet them while looking into some situations.

“They are all looked into. The F.B.I. knocks on their door. How many people have been charged? The number of people charged? Zero,” Mr. Jordan stated on N.B.C.’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, claiming that 25 parents’ houses had been visited. They arrive at your home. You don’t believe that would be terrifying for other parents, do you?

Democrats brushed off the subpoenas as political bluster fueled by false information. Republicans do not want to be bothered by this inconvenient truth, according to Representative Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands, the top Democrat on the recently established Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. “The conspiracy theories underpinning today’s subpoenas have been debunked with facts repeatedly,” she said.

The subpoenas, which The New York Times has reviewed, ask for correspondence and documents about “alleged threats posed by concerned parents at local school board meetings” and Mr. Garland’s choice to send federal law enforcement agents across the nation to deal with cases of educator harassment and threats.

House G.O.P. Subpoenas Biden Officials For Investigating School-related Threats

Additionally, they ask for records about a letter the National School Boards Association sent to President Biden in 2021, in which the organization expressed concern about threats against school board members growing due to coronavirus restrictions and critical race theory, a body of law primarily taught in graduate programs that looks at racism as a social construct ingrained in institutions.

The documents must be produced by March 1 per the subpoenas. Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, who were then in the minority, began to demand internal records from the Biden administration about the probe of parents in dozens of letters starting in October 2021. But because Republicans could not issue subpoenas, the Justice Department did not do so.

The National School Boards Association complained to Mr. Biden in September 2021 about an “increasing number of threats and acts of intimidation” against school board members over what it considered false propaganda stoked by a misinformation campaign. This sparked the G.O.P. investigation. If you require any additional information, please visit our The Express.

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