Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark. joined the growing number of lawmakers who are demanding answers from Department of Justice (DOJ). This memo mobilized the FBI to address threats against school board members.
On Wednesday, Cotton wrote a letter to Attorney general Merrick Garland asking him questions about the widely circulated memo. The memo has been criticized by many lawmakers.
This memo was prompted by a National School Boards Association letter (NSBA) to President Biden requesting assistance for alleged threats to school boards across America amid ongoing debates about COVID-19 policies, ideologies, and critical race theory.
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"The NSBA requested that the Biden administration investigate whether the purported acts infringed several statutes including the Patriot Act, the Matthew Shepard Jr. and James Byrd Jr. Cotton wrote that the Hate Crimes Prevention Act was violated. "The letter also stated that these acts could be considered domestic terrorism."
The letter states that "Your memo, which was issued five days after the NSBA letters and copied some of its recommendations, certainly seems to be a reply to and tacit acceptance of that letter." "The Department of Justice's endorsement of these outlandish claims threatens to intimidate parents and chill free speech, as well as discourage lawful assemblies."
Cotton wanted to know if Garland received the NSBA memo and if Garland agreed with the FBI's assessment that protests against school districts policies and curricular instruction could amount to domestic terrorism.
Arkansas Republican lawmaker is the latest to speak out against DOJs memo.
Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) criticized Garland for the memo in a Tuesday correspondence. He accused the attorney general of using FBI and DOJ to intimidate and silence parents exercising their First Amendment rights.
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In addition, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) attacked Garland in a letter he wrote over the memo.
"Across the country, Americans are protesting the radical racist ideology sometimes called "critical race theory". Hawley wrote to Garland on Tuesday.
"Americans responded to this radical ideology with winning local school boards elections and peacefully protesting at school board meetings. Your memo to the FBI and U.S. Attorneys yesterday ignored all this and warned of an increase in violence threats and attempts to intimidate individuals based upon their views.
Fox News Tyler Olson contributed reporting.