On Wednesday, Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn asked Attorney General Merrick Garland if parents who protest at school board meetings belong in the same category as the terrorists who carried out the Oklahoma City bombings.
Blackburn’s comments reference a letter from the National School Board Association to President Joe Biden that accused concerned parents of “domestic terrorism” and possibly violating the Patriot Act.
The exchange took place as Garland testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Blackburn asked Garland about an October 4th memo that showed how local law enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation could collaborate for “discussion of strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.”
“Knowing that you really helped bring to justice those that caused the Oklahoma City bombing,” Blackburn said to Garland, “would you really, honestly, put parents in the same category as a Terry Nichols or a Timothy McVeigh?”
“My God,” Garland immediately replied. “Absolutely not.”
Blackburn responded, “Then why, why would you ever release a memo? I mean, did you write that memo? Did staff write that memo? What would have led you to do this? It is so over the top.”
Garland was stern with Blackburn: “Senator, there is nothing in the memo that in any way draws any comparison, anything like that,” the attorney general insisted. “This memo is about violence and threats of violence.”
Blackburn said later, “Sir, I have to tell you that that may be your opinion, and many times perception is reality, and reading that memo myself, Tennesseeans reading that memo, what they found in that memo, what they heard you say, was if you show up and you question the school boards, you will be deemed a domestic terrorist.”
“You could be investigated by the FBI,” the senator noted. “I mean, the FBI has a lot of other things that they should be focusing on, and the FBI should be there, looking at issues like China.”
The “domestic terrorism” letter from the National School Board Association caused an uproar, and the group has since issued an apology for its incendiary language about regular American parents.
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