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March 23, 2023

Weaponization of Government Subcommitee Issues Interim Report on Biden's Use of the FBI and Counterrorism Resources to Harass Parents Objecting to Woke School Boards

I don't know if any of this is actually new.

I previously wrote that Jim Jordan was deliberately understaffing his committee -- for what purpose, I don't know.

Five full-time staffers. Five.

It almost seems like he doesn't want to find anything wrong with His Very Good Friends at the DOJ and FBI.

Here's the more interesting snippets from the report. From the executive summary:

From the initial set of material produced in response to the subpoenas, it is apparent that the Biden Administration misused federal law-enforcement and counterterrorism resources for political purposes. The Justice Department's own documents demonstrate that there was no compelling nationwide law-enforcement justification for the Attorney General's directive or the Department components' execution thereof. After surveying local law enforcement, U.S. Attorney's offices around the country reported back to Main Justice that there was no legitimate law-enforcement basis for the Attorney General's directive to use federal law-enforcement and counterterrorism resources to investigate school board-related threats. For example:

* One U.S. Attorney reported that "this issue was very poorly received" by his local law-enforcement community and "described by some as a manufactured issue."2 He
continued: "No one I spoke with in law enforcement seemed to think that there is a
serious national threat directed at school boards, which gave the impression that our
priorities are misapplied."

* Another U.S. Attorney's Office reported that the local FBI field office in the area "did
not see any imminent threats to school boards or their members . . . , nor did they
ascertain any worrisome trends in that regard.

* Local law-enforcement officials noted that local officials should properly respond to
school board threats. In Montana, several law-enforcement offices rightly advised the
Justice Department that "local law enforcement authorities are best suited to address
criminal threats against school board administrators."

* Most threats reported back to Main Justice had little connection to school board matters. For example, the Southern District of Alabama reported that although one of the school board member's houses was shot at, the incident was the "unfortunate consequence of gun violence in the city" and not related to school board decisions or policies.

The documents received pursuant to the Committee's subpoena show the absence of a legitimate nationwide basis for the Attorney General's directive to insert federal law enforcement into local school board matters. The documents also shed light onto how the Administration worked with education special interests to generate the predicate for the Attorney General's directive. It appears, from these documents and the information received previously, that the Administration's actions were a political offensive meant to quell swelling discord over controversial education curricula and unpopular school board decisions.

I mean, yes..? The report provides some detail later on, but we've known the DOJ and White House colluded with the NSBA to produce the letter which would then be used to justify the weaponization of government against parents for... at least two years, right?

The Attorney General's directive came just weeks before a pivotal gubernatorial election in Virginia, in which education policies were hotly debated and a local school board's actions were under intense scrutiny.7 The inference from the initial tranche of subpoenaed documents is that the Justice Department's actions were a reaction to these political circumstances rather than a legitimate law-enforcement response to any serious, nationwide threat.

In response to the Committee's subpoena, the FBI acknowledged for the first time that it opened 25 "Guardian assessments" of school board threats, and that six of these investigations were run by the FBI's Counterterrorism Division.

These admissions supplement whistleblower disclosures about the FBI's actions, including disclosures the FBI investigated a mom because she belonged to a "right-wing mom's group" and "is a gun owner" and a dad because "he rails against the government." According to the FBI, none of the school board-related investigations have resulted in federal arrests or charges, highlighting the political motives behind the Attorney General's actions. The Administration's goal seems to have been silencing the critics of its radical education policies and neutralizing an issue that was threatening Democrat Party prospects in the close gubernatorial race in Virginia.

This weaponization of law-enforcement powers against American parents exercising their First Amendment rights is dangerous. The Justice Department subjected moms and dads to the opening of an FBI investigation about them, the establishment of an FBI case file that includes their political views, and the application of a "threat tag" to their names as a direct result of their exercise of their fundamental constitutional right to speak and advocate for their children.

We've long known the FBI created a "threat tag" to brand parents as terrorist in their government files.

Here is some more detail about the collusion of Biden and Merrick Garland on the letter supposedly written by the National School Board Association, but really drafted in consultation with, and with the recommended additions proposed by, the White House and DOJ:

* The NSBA collaborated with the Biden White House to develop the language of the NSBA's September 29, 2021 letter to President Biden urging the use of federal law- enforcement and counterterrorism tools, including the Patriot Act, against parents.

* The NSBA shared the draft language of its letter with the White House, which apparently raised no concerns with the reference to counterterrorism tools or the inclusion of the Patriot Act in the letter.

* Five days after the NSBA letter to President Biden, on October 4, Attorney General
Garland issued a memorandum that inserted federal law enforcement into local school board meetings.

* Attorney General Garland established a task force--including the Department's National Security Division, with responsibility for enforcing federal counterterrorism statutes--to examine school board-related threats and highlighted the FBI's National Threat Operations Center to serve as a snitch-line for tips about parents at school board meetings.

* In testimony to the Committee, Attorney General Garland admitted that the sole basis of his memorandum was the NSBA letter sent to President Biden.

* On October 20, 2021, the FBI's Counterterrorism and Criminal Divisions operationalized the Attorney General's directive, announcing to all FBI special agents in charge the creation of a new threat tag--EDUOFFICIALS--to track school board-related threats.

Yes yes, but we knew all that.

I know this is an interim report, not a final one, but I just don't trust Jim Jordan to do anything more than rehash old New York Post stories.

Here are more details about those Domestic Terrorist moms the straight-shooters at the FBI investigated:

* In one investigation, an FBI field office interviewed a mom for allegedly telling a local school board "we are coming for you." The complaint, which came into the FBI through the National Threat Operations Center snitch-line, alleged that the mom was a threat because she belonged to a "right wing mom's group" known as "Moms for Liberty" and because she "is a gun owner." When the FBI interviewed the mom, she told the agent that she was upset about the school board's mask mandates and that her statement was a warning that her organization would seek to replace the school board with new members through the electoral process.

* An FBI field office opened an investigation into a dad opposed to mask mandates. The complaint came in through the National Threat Operations Center snitch-line and alleged that the dad "fit the profile of an insurrectionist" because he "rails against the government," "believes all conspiracy theories," and "has a lot of guns and threatens to use them." When an FBI agent interviewed the complainant, the complainant admitted they had "no specific information or observations of . . . any crimes or threats," but they contacted the FBI after learning the Justice Department had a website "to submit tips to the FBI in regards to any concerning behavior directed toward school boards."

* In another case, an FBI field office opened an investigation into Republican state elected officials after a state Democrat party official accused them of making an "online terroristic threat by politicians against school board members." This complaint also came into the FBI through the National Threat Operations Center snitch-line. It alleged that one Republican official "incited violence" against school board members by expressing displeasure with school districts' vaccine mandates.

These complaints were invited by Merrick Garland, the report says. One might say that he went Complaint Shopping, and widely informed the public that he would pay top dollar for complaints about Republican parents, no matter how thin or stupid the allegation.

One more excerpt: The White House and DOE had already been coordinating with leftwing groups to justify a federal crackdown on dissent against leftwing woke schoolboards.

A. Prior to the October 4 memorandum, the Department of Education and White House worked with a left-leaning group to promote calls for federal law- enforcement intervention.

On September 16, 2021, CEO of the National Association of Secondary School
Principals (NASSP) Ronn Nozoe emailed Mary C. Wall, of the White House COVID-19
Response Team, about NASSP's September 16, 2021, press release calling for the "federal government to protect school leaders from threats and violence." Mr. Nozoe asked Ms. Wall to share it with her networks. That same day, employees at the Department of Education set a meeting to discuss the NASSP's press release. The Education Department redacted much of these internal communications among its employees, preventing the Committee from fully understanding the nature and circumstances of these discussions.

On September 20, 2021, Dr. Aaliyah Samuel, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Local, State
and National Engagement in the Office of Communications and Outreach at the Department of Education, emailed Mr. Nozoe requesting a time to talk.28 Mr. Nozoe sent an email with the following three requests:

* "Build safe zones around schools -- similar to drug free zones. Make it a federal crime to threaten any educator/school staff on school property."

* "Set up a 911 Network to report physical and social threats. Establish an ombudsman at the federal level with a direct line to the FBI/Justice Department. Do not leave it solely up to local authorities to determine the severity of the threats."

* "Provide legal protections for all educators by creating a legal defense fund so school leaders who have been maligned in their community can get legal assistance to protect/repair their reputations. . . . [W]e are asking for a fund to be set up so school leaders who have had their reputations smeared in public/social media/local media because of mask/no mask vax/no vax mandates do not have to dig into their personal savings to hire attorneys for defamation of character/slander legal action necessary to clear their names."

Dr. Samuel forwarded the chain to other employees at the Department of Education, but the Department redacted the majority of the content of these communications. Additionally, Dr. Samuel added Ms. Wall to an email thread among Department of Education officials discussing the NASSP's requests, but Ms. Wall's message back to the group was also redacted.

Why are the communications of government officials being redacted? There is no privacy interest in how an alleged civil servant does his or her job.

Over at the Epoch Times, a report on FBI whistleblower Steve Friend. He says the FBI is now just the armed enforcement wing of the Democrat Party.

There's a growing divide between the rank-and-file officers of the FBI and upper management, according to FBI agent-turned-whistleblower Steve Friend, and it's those at the top who are pushing a political agenda.


"I think there's an argument to be made that the FBI has now just become a weaponized apparatchik of the presidential administration," he added, holding that public trust in the agency has diminished largely as a result of the perception of political bias.

Friend--now a senior fellow at the Center for Renewing America--previously worked as a special agent in the FBI's Jacksonville, Florida, office, but was suspended from the agency after he came forward last September with concerns about how the bureau was handling child sexual abuse cases and allegations that cases were being inappropriately assigned.

Friend had also objected to the FBI's use of SWAT teams to arrest individuals suspected of committing misdemeanors during the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.

Speaking of Steve Friend -- Kyle Shideler forwarded to me this report from J. Michael Waller about Steve Friend's allegations.

He said that FBI bosses can get bonuses of up to five figures for meeting a quota of investigations opened -- including for "domestic terrorism."

So Biden is incentivizing FBI bosses to open as many "domestic terrorism" cases as possible, and rewarding them with cash money if they meet or exceed their quota.

Here's the interview with Friend he's referencing. Note that this goes back to January.

J Michael Waller @JMichaelWaller

Jan 31

I just listened to Steve Baker's entire podcast with FBI whistleblower @RealSteveFriend
A sincere, enlightening look at the inner workings of the @FBI
at the field level, and how weaponization of the bureaucracy tries to crush agents for following their conscience. @TPC4USA

1) Thread of paraphrasings and quotations from suspended FBI special agent @realSteveFriend (SF) in the @TPC4USA podcast:

FBI HQ shut down investigations into child porn, child exploitation, and human trafficking to pursue misdemeanor cases against J6 trespassers.

2) FBI HQ opened up hundreds of J6 'domestic terrorism' cases in field offices across the country in part to inflate its domestic terrorism statistics and to check the boxes so that SES-level agents could get more promotions and pay.

3) SF: Heads of @FBI field offices 'get bonuses for essentially having met certain standards they set for themselves the prior year, how many domestic terrorism cases are we going to have open ... there is a demand for that are vastly exceeding the supply.'

4) SF: 'what's going on with J6 is atypical. I've arrested over 150 violent criminals in my career in the FBI. Not once did I have to use a tactical team, or a team of 30 agents with full body armor.'

5) After SF raised concerns with his @FBI supervisor about 'the process being the punishment,' in politicized cases, the supervisor agreed, then said SF should think about his career and urged him to get counseling. SF was then suspended without pay, indefinitely.

6) The FBI supervisor of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Jacksonville voiced concerns about the legitimacy of the J6 'investigations,' but then he got promoted and kept his opinions to himself.

7) FBI skirts whistleblower protection laws by invoking national security to turn the screws on its own agents.

It suspends their security clearances, rendering them unable to work in the FBI, then suspends them without pay because they are not working, SF says.

8 ) Because indefinitely suspended FBI personnel are still considered FBI employees, they cannot get outside work. FBI Office of Integrity Compliance must approve requests to do outside work. In these cases, it denies the requests in order to deny him income.

9) This is one way the FBI leadership prevents more agents from coming forward. More than two dozen FBI special agents have already done so, however, most anonymously.

10) FBI then leaks derogatory personal information from whistleblowers' confidential personnel files to friendly reporters in order to discredit the critics. This is a crime, but FBI officials do it anyway with impunity. Nobody will investigate the crime.

Many whistleblowers refused to come forward during the Benghazi "investigation." Chuck Grassley is a prideful man, and is convinced that his weak-sister whistleblower protection law is enough to protect those who report on government abuse. The whistleblowers say "It isn't enough, you need to make these protections stronger" -- like, perhaps, making it a more serious felony to leak details from a personnel file in reprisal, among other things -- but Grassley refused.

And so the whistleblowers who were leaking information anonymously refused to come forward.

I hear the same thing is going on with the FBI whistleblowers. Yes, they are coming forward anonymously, but they do not think this committee is serious, and they do not believe they are actually protected against government reprisal.

They believe that coming forward will result in 1, nothing actually changing in government and 2, them being trashed in the press and then forced out of their jobs. So they will have ended their careers and put their families in financial harm for nothing.

I don't see anything in this report to change my mind on this.

It feels like defenders of the Regime like Jordan and Grassley want to play "reformer" at the fringes, but don't really want to empower whistleblowers to come forward to testify with complete immunity from reprisal. It's as if they want to keep government whistleblowers in check, and always empower the government to punish them if they really threaten to tell the government's secrets.

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posted by Ace at 06:03 PM

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