Zachary Evans, National Review, November 16, 2021
Citing an internal email provided by an FBI whistleblower, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee revealed Tuesday that the Bureau has created a system to track threats against school board officials and administrators, and accused Attorney General Merrick Garland of misleading lawmakers when he was asked about the subject during his previous testimony before the committee.
The FBI’s “Counterterrorism and Criminal Divisions created a threat tag, EDUOFFICIALS, to track instances of related threats,” according to the email. “The purpose of the threat tag is to help scope this threat on a national level and provide an opportunity for comprehensive analysis of the threat picture for effective engagement with law enforcement.”
The email was signed by Counterterrorism Division assistant director Timothy Langan, and former Criminal Division assistant director Calvin Shivers, who retired earlier this month.
In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Representative Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote that the whistleblower email “provides specific evidence” that federal law enforcement employed counterterrorism tools “against concerned parents.”
The disclosure comes after the National School Boards Association released a letter in September calling on federal agencies to investigate whether alleged threats to school-board members constituted a domestic terrorist threat. The NSBA cited alleged threats made in opposition to masking policies and “propaganda purporting the false inclusion of critical race theory” in schools.
Garland directed the FBI and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices on October 4 to investigate threats against school boards following publication of the letter, which the NSBA apologized for on October 22. The attorney general testified on October 21 that the Department of Justice and FBI were not using counterterrorism tools to investigate the alleged threats.