The Department of Justice hit back at House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) after he issued subpoenas to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
The DOJ called the subpoenas “premature,” claiming that they offered their time to the committee previously.
“We remain ready to discuss the next steps for the Department to address your informational needs while also respecting Executive Branch interests," wrote Carlos Felipe Uriarte, assistant attorney general for the Office of Legislative Affairs said in a letter. "We have offered to engage with the Committee and provide information voluntarily, so a subpoena is premature.”
According to the letter, Wray and Garland insisted that they are cooperating and have responded to Jordan’s requests promptly.
“The overwhelming majority of congressional requests for information are resolved through voluntary discussion and cooperation. This process of accommodation is also constitutionally mandated. Both Congress and the Executive Branch are required to negotiate in good faith to meet the informational needs of Congress while protecting the institutional interests of the Executive Branch," the letter continued. “We are committed to working in good faith to respond to your requests and remain ready to discuss your informational needs and priorities for review and production of pertinent documents.”
Jordan called on Wray and Garland to hand over documents and communications related to the FBI’s “misuse of federal criminal and counterterrorism resources” to target parents at school board meetings.
The subpoena follows a series of more than 100 letters on the 2021 memo from Judiciary Republicans, which Garland signed in October after noticing a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.”
However, little to no action came from the memo.
Jordan claims that the memo was a way for the Biden Administration to label parents as domestic terrorists.
As Republicans remain laser-focused on the matter, the DOJ sent a letter to the White House explaining several incidents at recent school board meetings, pointing out that some threats “could be equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
In response, the National School Boards Association issued a statement saying its members “regret and apologize for the letter.”
Jordan criticized the DOJ’s letter saying that the agency’s response is “wholly inadequate, flawed, and ignores the last two years of requests from our Committee."