News broke Tuesday that the FBI put threat tags on parents protesting at school board meetings. The information was exposed by a whistleblower, who brought a memo detailing the tagging to members of Congress. From Spencer's reporting:
A letter from House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) calling out Biden's Attorney General Merrick Garland outlines the documents turned over by the whistleblower and demands answers from the DOJ about a new "threat tag" being used to track parents.
"The email... referenced your October 4 directive to the FBI to address school board threats and notified FBI personnel about a new "threat tag" created by the Counterterrorism and Criminal Divisions," writes Jordan. "The email directed FBI personnel to apply this new threat tag to all 'investigations and assessments of threats specifically directed against school board administrations, board members, teachers, and staff.'"
In an effort to do damage control, the FBI released a statement arguing the practice is standard and compared parents to drug dealers and human traffickers.
"A tag is merely a statistical tool to track information and for review and reporting. The creation of a threat tag in no way changes the long-standing requirements for opening an investigation," the FBI released in a statement. "Nor does it represent in a shift in how the FBI prioritizes threats. The FBI has used tags to track everything from drug trafficking to human trafficking."
Meanwhile, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are calling for Attorney General Merrick Garland to return for testimony after he claimed the FBI was not being used to directly target parents.
.@HawleyMO: Garland must return to testify under oath— Abigail Marone ???? (@abigailmarone) November 17, 2021
"The Attorney General has a problem with the truth. He needs to... answer what is going on here. Why is the Patriot Act being used against parents?" pic.twitter.com/oAUbZvapAK