A whistleblower has outed the FBI for using counterterrorism resources to investigate parents at school board meetings. The allegations were included in letter sent by Republican members of the House Judiciary this week.
The letter included copies of the documents allegedly sourced from the FBI whistleblower that included an email sent by Carlton L. Peeples, who serves in the bureau’s Inspection Division, saying that the Counterterrorism and Criminal Division “created a threat tag, EDUOFFICIALS” to track alleged instances of threats.
Tags are typically created for foreign terrorism threats.
“We ask that your offices apply the threat tag to investigations and assessments of threats specifically directed against school board administrators, board members, teachers, and staff,” the email reads. The email was signed by Counterterrorism Division Assistant Director Timothy Langan and then-Criminal Division assistant director Calvin Shivers.
Whistleblower contradicts Garland over FBI actions
In their letter this week, the Judiciary Republicans said that Attorney General Merrick Garland testified in front of a House panel that the FBI and Department of Justice were not using counterterrorism resources to target parents. However, the newly unveiled document show Garland lied, according to some officials.
An FBI spokesperson doubled down this week saying the bureau “has never been in the business of investigating parents who speak out or policing speech at school board meetings, and we are not going to start now.”
Before a counterterrorism investigation can be opened, there has to be information that indicates the possible use of violence or force, or a potential violation of federal law, the FBI spokesperson continued.
But according to House Judiciary Republicans, the whistleblower’s disclosure is evidence that federal law enforcement used counterterrorism resources at the behest of a “left-wing special interests group” to go after parents, referring to a letter that had been sent by the National School Boards Association several weeks ago linking parents who are concerned about school curriculum to domestic terrorists. It further said that the FBI and federal agencies should use the PATRIOT Act and other tools to go after parents.
Now, the whistleblower’s disclosure “calls into question the accuracy and completeness” of Garland’s testimony before the House Judiciary panel last month.
After the National School Boards Association issued its initial letter, dozens of school boards around the United States have cut ties with the group. On Monday, the Kentucky School Board Association said its members voted to withdraw their membership.
The whistleblower’s revelations come a week after leaked emails showed that the White House conspired with the National School Boards Association in developing the letter that used the word “terrorism” in connection with parents.
–Metro Voice and trusted wire services