Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy pressed White House press secretary Jen Psaki on the Biden administration’s stance on whether school board protesters are “domestic terrorists” at a Wednesday press conference.
“The National School Board Association is not a form of the U.S. government, I point you to that,” Psaki said. “What the Department of Justice said in a letter from the attorney general is that ‘threats against public school servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values.’ That is true, these were threats against public servants, threats against members of the school board.”
The National School Board Association (NSBA) urged President Joe Biden to enforce federal statutes, including the USA PATRIOT Act, to prevent school board protesters from using threats and violence that could potentially be “equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism” directed at school board members and teachers in a Sept. 30 letter.
In response, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued an Oct. 4 memorandum ordering the FBI to address alleged threats and harassment against school board members, teachers and staff. The FBI is required under the memo to meet with federal, state and local leaders within 30 days to prevent potential threats during future school board meetings.
Psaki confirmed the attorney general’s claim that threats and violent actions made against public servants are against the law.
Doocy asked whether the administration would accept the FBI using the USA PATRIOT Act, a 9/11 era law intended to punish terrorist acts in the U.S. and around the world, to investigate the parents and protesters at school board meetings. The press secretary responded that more information on the usage of the anti-terrorist law can be gathered through Garland. (RELATED: ‘Despicable And Anti-American’: DeSantis’ Office Condemns Biden DOJ’s Review Of School Board Threats)
“Does the president support the fundamental right of these parents to protest at school board meetings?” Doocy asked.
“Of course, but he doesn’t stand for the fundamental right, I assume you don’t either, for people to take a violent action against members of public servants,” Psaki said. “And that’s what the threats are about, and no, he doesn’t stand for that.”
Republican attorneys general across the U.S. said that the Biden administration is “weaponizing” against parents that are standing up to Critical Race Theory and mask mandates in their children’s schools.
“Biden’s Department of Justice is weaponizing its resources against parents who dare to advocate for their children. This dangerous federal overreach imposes a chilling effect on free speech by criminalizing dissent,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in an Oct. 5 release.
Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz pressed Deputy Attorney General Kristen Clarke on the DOJ’s stance on whether the parents are domestic terrorists at a Wednesday Senate hearing. Clarke denied that the school board protesters are domestic terrorists and remained silent on whether she partook in the development of Garland’s memo.