Former Trump White House adviser Stephen Miller’s legal organization is asking the Justice Department’s independent watchdog to investigate Attorney General Merrick Garland’s controversial memo mobilizing the FBI against parents protesting their local school boards –calling the move “corruption” and “undue politicization” of the Justice Department’s authority.
“Targeting parents in local school boards is atrocious. There’s no lawful basis for doing so. There’s no federal nexus that’s even connected to such an investigation,” Miller told Fox News on Sunday about the request by America First Legal. “There’s not even a half-hearted attempt to suggest this was done for a legitimate law enforcement purpose.”
“It seems quite obvious that it is meant to chill free speech and intimidate parents into silence and into obedience,” Miller said.
In the letter to Inspector General Michael Horowitz, America First Legal asked him to examine whether the Garland memo was “formulated and issued based on improper considerations.”
“At this point, the dangers inherent in the undue politicization of the department’s criminal and civil law enforcement authorities, and in the corruption of the department’s standard order and process, should be evident,” the letter states.
Garland last week ordered the FBI to take the lead on the law enforcement investigations into “a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence” against school administrations, teachers and school board members, setting off a firestorm of controversy.
The memo was in response to a letter sent to the Biden administration by the National School Boards Association that claimed educators were under attack and likened the protesters to “domestic terrorists.”
Republicans accused Garland of trying to “weaponize” the Justice Department to intimidate parents who speak out about the teaching of critical race theory in public schools and mandates on masking children.
“The purpose of our request is to expose the document of this attack on concerned parents. And to both produce the public evidentiary record to make sure that the responsible parties can be held accountable,” Miller told Fox News. “Also, it will empower parents who are persecuted, to have remedies, legal remedies.”
“But additionally, the inspector general’s investigation can then engage in the kinds of investigations that can lead to an internal disciplinary action. And of course, as is always the case in any investigation, other legal remedies, as appropriate,” he added.
Miller characterized critical race theory as the “animating principle of the American left” this year and said it has permeated all aspects of society.
“CRT’s fingerprints are everywhere. Health care policy, education policy, economic policy, social policy. Just take a moment and think for a second: The left talks now about every issue in the context of critical race theory,” Miller said.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke defended the Garland memo during a contentious Senate Judiciary Committee meeting last week.
She said the directive does not violate the First Amendment rights of parents and is concerned with dealing with “threats against public servants and says that threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values.”