House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan on Friday subpoenaed Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona for withholding documents relating to the administration’s targeting of parents at school board meetings.
The subpoenas require the three Biden administration officials to turn over all documents by March 1.
The move by Mr. Jordan is part of House Republicans’ new Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government designed to examine the behavior of the FBI and Justice Department.
The committee, created last month under the Judiciary panel, will probe, among other issues, the Justice Department’s investigation of “threats” from parents who spoke out at school board meetings.
The meetings became contentious during the COVID-19 pandemic as parents grew frustrated and increasingly angered about masking and when students could return to school, among other issues.
Judiciary Committee Republicans since October 2021 have sent more than 100 letters to Biden administration officials requesting answers about how the federal government used counterterrorism resources against parents.
According to whistleblowers, Mr. Garland directed the FBI to take action, and the FBI‘s Counterterrorism and Criminal Divisions created a specific threat tag for threats against school board members and school administrators.
Republican lawmakers say the bureau opened investigations into parents for speaking out on behalf of their children.
Mr. Garland’s directive followed a letter from the National School Boards Association to President Biden, calling on him to weaponize the Patriot Act against parents.
Emails, according to Mr. Jordan, later showed that the Biden White House had advance knowledge of the letter and raised no objection.
The new subcommittee also has sought information about the FBI search for classified documents at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, the FBI’s alleged inflation of the domestic violent extremist threat, and its alleged abuse of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants.
Republicans identified 15 Justice Department officials they want to hear from, including Mr. Garland and his top deputies. They also asked for testimony from Mr. Wray and eight other FBI officials, citing “a rampant culture of unaccountability, manipulation and abuse at the highest level of the DOJ.”