The head of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division said Thursday that the DOJ has not prosecuted anyone for demonstrating outside of Supreme Court Justices’ residences, but that an order focusing the department on parents at school board meetings remains intact. He declined to disavow using the PATRIOT Act against parents.
The fact that the DOJ is still focused on school board issues is remarkable because the group that the DOJ relied on to justify the action — the National School Boards Association — has since apologized and is facing collapse, with the majority of state associations severing ties following shock at the idea that parents could be likened to terrorists or that they should have civil rights stripped via involving the anti-terrorism PATRIOT Act. An early draft of the letter even called for the feds to release “Army National Guard and Its Military Police” on parents.
At a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) asked “Has the Department of Justice prosecuted a single case against individuals demonstrating at the residences of Supreme Court justices in violation of USC 1507?”
Matthew G. Olsen, the national security official, replied, “I’m not aware that there’s been a case brought under that particular statute.”
Roy said, “Which poses a greater danger to American national security: cartels or parents at school board meetings?”
Olsen uttered, “I mean, look. In groups, violent gangs that move drugs or are involved in acts of violence are significant threats.”
“Do they post a greater threat to the security of the United States than parents at school board meetings?” Roy prodded.
“I would certainly have to agree with that. I would agree that as a general proposition, being a parent myself, gangs and violent groups pose a greater threat to the American people, if that’s a serious question.”
Roy followed up: “Is the DOJ still operating under the memorandum issued by the Attorney General Merrick Garland on October 4, 2021, in which he said, ‘disturbing spike in harassment in intimidation, harassment and threats of violence of school boards.’ Are they still operating under that memorandum?”
“The AG’s guidance from last fall continues in effect,” Olsen said.
Roy asked why the National Security Division was specifically mentioned in a DOJ press release about its efforts involving school board officials.
“The National Security Division is part of a broader array of components within the Justice Department that are part of that effort to ensure that people who serve on local school boards or other bodies are safe,” Olsen replied.
“Do you think parents rise to the level of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice?” Roy asked.
“I certainly think it’s possible that there could be a threat or act of violence against someone in local office, whether it’s city council or school board, that might reflect a domestic violent extremist attack, yes,” Olsen replied.
“Is it appropriate to use the PATRIOT Act against parents?” Roy asked.
Olsen declined to answer, saying, “The PATRIOT Act is a variety of tools. I can’t talk about it in the abstract.”
“Did the National School Board[s] Association recommend the use of the PATRIOT Act and describe the action of parents at school boards as the equivalent of domestic terrorism, preceding the memorandum issued by the DOJ?” Roy asked.
“I don’t know,” Olsen replied.
Roy pressed, “You don’t know that there was a memorandum put out by the NSBA referring to domestic terrorism and the use of PATRIOT Act prior to the Attorney General of the United States issuing a memorandum directly targeting and focusing on school boards?”
“I’ve heard you and other members of this committee make reference to that today,” Olsen said.
“You’re the head of the National Security Division, which is mentioned in the press release that goes out and you don’t know, you’re testifying under oath here before us that you don’t know anything about that?” Roy asked.
“I’ve heard of that letter; I don’t know exactly what it says,” Olsen answered.
Roy is a graduate of Loudoun County Public Schools. The NSBA letter that likened some parents to domestic terrorists referenced several supposed problems at school boards, one of the more severe was the case of Scott Smith, who was charged with disorderly conduct.
A George Soros-funded, elected district attorney personally prosecuted him and sought jail time, unheard of for the charge. The Daily Wire revealed that Smith was angry at the meeting because the superintendent had just falsely stated that no one had been raped in the district’s schools, when his daughter had been raped by a boy wearing a skirt just weeks prior.