The House Judiciary Committee has ramped up its efforts to obtain information from the Justice Department (DOJ) on how it approached concerned parents at school board meetings by issuing a subpoena Friday to Attorney General Merrick Garland for numerous documents and communications on the matter.
The subpoena, reviewed by Breitbart News, commands Garland to provide to the committee numerous items that committee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has repeatedly requested from the department since the school boards issue first surfaced more than a year ago.
Jordan, while he was ranking member of the committee, first contacted Garland in October 2021 about a directive Garland had issued to the FBI that month about a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” against school administrators.
Garland acknowledged during a hearing before the committee that he had sent the directive just after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent a letter to the White House, which the NSBA later retracted, that had asked the White House to investigate visibly outraged parents who were attending school board meetings as possible “domestic terrorists.”
Jordan has accused DOJ of using the NSBA letter as a “pretext for the use of federal law enforcement,” including counterterrorism measures, against parents, which Jordan has argued could “chill the First Amendment rights” of parents.
“You, the Honorable Merrick B. Garland, Attorney General are required to produce the following items in your possession, custody, or control, from January 20, 2021 to present, in unredacted form,” the subpoena states as it then lists out nine detailed items, all of which Jordan has requested from DOJ in the past to no avail.
The subpoena, among its list of demands, asks for:
All documents and communications between Mary Wall, Senior Policy Advisor to the President, and any Department of Justice employee(s) referring or relating to the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) letter dated September 29, 2021; the Attorney General’s memorandum dated October 4, 2021; or alleged threats or violence at school board meetings.
Jordan last reiterated this and all of the other requests on the subpoena to DOJ among a compilation of demands to the department on January 17.
DOJ showed some resistance to Jordan’s January 17 correspondence by telling the chairman that while the department would work to be accommodating for the committee’s oversight obligations, “it may not always be possible to participate or to address all the topics the Committee wishes to raise.”
The subpoena directs Garland to produce the required documents to the committee on March 1 at 9:00 a.m.
Jordan, who is planning a number of high-profile investigations this Congress, has in the past threatened to resort to legal means to compel government agencies to satisfy his requests. This subpoena, the first to be issued this Congress, is likely to be one of several the chairman sends out as he pursues various probes into DOJ and other agencies.
Many of the probes are expected to occur through the newly created Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, which the House established this Congress to look into allegations of civil liberties violations by the agencies.