Currently, various counterterrorism officials throughout the FBI are tracking and compiling investigations regarding the “threats” allegedly faced by school officials, including school board members, according to recently released whistleblower documents.
House Judiciary Republicans, let by Representative Jim Jordan, released the whistleblower email on Tuesday, illustrating that the FBI has indeed started using various counterterrorism tools in order to keep track of threats made towards school officials.
The email had been sent on behalf of the various assistant directors who take part in the agency’s criminal and counterterrorism divisions.
“We share an obligation to ensure all individuals are able to do their jobs without threats of violence.” the email stated, before adding that this obligation can only be achieved through “effective coordination and engagement with [the FBI’s] law enforcement partners and U.S. Attorney offices.”
Due to the alleged threats of violence towards school officials, the FBI created a “threat tag,” known as “EDUOFFICIALS,” which assists with “[tracking] instances of related threats.”
In the email, the FBI also asked for the recipient’s offices “[to] apply the threat tag to investigations and assessments of threats [levied specifically] against [school officials.” The agency added that the primary purpose of the threat tag is to assist with analyzing the threat on a national level and “[providing] an opportunity for a [thorough] analysis of the threat picture” in order to engage with “law enforcement partners at all levels” in combating the threat.
The email also proceeds to note that the new “tag” had been created as a direct result of AG Merrick Garland’s infamous October 4 memo, which commanded the FBI to to address threats levied against various school board members, administrators, and other education officials.
FROM THE WHISTLEBLOWER: pic.twitter.com/4IfJRPVKMk
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) November 16, 2021
Furthermore, the email also openly encourages for agents to search for a “federal nexus” in each potential case, and it instructs agents to actively look for any “potential federal violations” that can warrant subsequent criminal investigations and potential charges.
Agents are also tasked with attempting to discern the “motive [underlying] the criminal activity,” as well as “[identifying] trends, strategies, and best practices [for] discouraging, identifying, and prosecuting” individuals who threaten violence.
“We appreciate your attention to this matter,” the email concludes.
Since Garland had testified that Patriot Act was not being used against parents, Rep. Jordan promptly sent him a letter on Tuesday, observing that the whistleblower email questions “the accuracy and completeness” of Garland’s testimony on October 21, which took place before the House Judiciary Committee.
“You testified that you could not ‘imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used [against] parents companioning about their children, nor [circumstances] where they would be labeled as domestic terrorists,” Jordan’s letter declared.
Garland also reportedly stated, “‘I do not think parents getting angry at school boards for whatever reason constitute domestic terrorism … It’s not even a close question,” as revealed by Jordan’s letter.
Rep. Jordan also extended an opportunity for Garland to amend his sworn testimony in order to ensure its “completeness” and “accuracy,” particularly with regards to whether or not any department has previously used or is currently using counterterrorism tools “for the purpose of investigating, tracking, or prosecuting threats relating to school board meetings.”