WATCH: Josh Hawley Slams Garland Memo Targeting Parents At School Board Meetings (VIDEO)

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) slammed the Biden administration’s newest effort to quell political dissent, which includes a stated intention to go after parents who oppose Democrats’ radical curriculum and COVID regulations during a hearing on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland sent a memo to the FBI and United States attorneys urging them to work together to stop alleged harassment and intimidation of education officials who seek to institutionalize critical race theory and prevent parents from making healthcare decisions for their children. The memo was sent to the FBI and United States attorneys.

Hawley interrogated Biden’s Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco during her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which she was asked about the purpose for and ultimate execution of the Justice Department’s new anti-parenting crusade.

Hawley believes this administration is determined to put us back to the “McCarthy” period, although with a new level of force, strength, and urgency beyond anything we’ve ever seen in the United States prior to this one.

When Hawley questioned Monaco about whether she was “aware of any instance in American history when an attorney general has ordered the FBI to begin intervening in local school board meetings?” Monaco said that she was not. Biden’s deputy attorney general said that she was “not aware” of any comparable measures that had been taken in the past, but maintained that “that is not going on.”

“Is parents waiting sometimes for hours to speak at a local school board meeting to express concerns about critical race theory or the masking of their students — particularly young children — is that in and of itself, is that harassment and intimidation? Is waiting to express one’s view at a school board meeting harassment and intimidation?” Hawley pressed.

The attorney general’s memo made it clear that “spirited debate is welcome,” and that spirited debate “is a hallmark of this country, and it is something we should all engage in,” Monaco said before Hawley pointed out that the DOJ memo “doesn’t define those terms, nor does it define harassment or intimidation.”

“It talks about violence, I think we can agree that violence shouldn’t be condoned, or looked aside from, in any way swept under the rug at all. But harassment and intimidation, what do those terms mean in the context of a local school board meeting,” asked Hawley seeking clarification. “In First Amendment context we talk about the ‘chill,’ the ‘chill to speech.’ If this isn’t a deliberate attempt to chill parents from showing up at school board meetings for their elected school boards, I don’t know what is. I’m not aware of anything like this in American history. We’re talking about the FBI — you’re using the FBI to intervene in school board meetings,” he added.

“This is unprecedented,” Hawley said, referring to the Biden administration’s actions against the parents of children. “You can’t point to a single instance where anything like this has happened before and I think parents across this country are going to be stunned to learn, stunned, that if they show up at a local school board meeting… you are attempting to intimidate them. You are attempting to silence them. You are attempting to interfere with their rights as parents and yes, with their rights as voters. This is wrong, this is dangerous, and I cannot believe that an Attorney General of the United States is engaging in this kind of conduct. Frankly, I can’t believe that you are sitting here today defending it,”  Hawley expressed himself.

“I intend to get answers to these questions,” he said in a statement in to Monaco. “You won’t answer my questions. I’m going to get answers,”  He promised to do so, and he called for a Senate hearing on Garland’s letter and the implications of it.

“We need to hear from the Attorney General himself. He needs to come here, take the oath, sit there, and answer questions. We have never seen anything like this before in our country’s history and frankly, I want to say, I think it is dangerous, dangerous precedent.”

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