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Durbin invokes Jan. 6 as he defends school board letter during Garland hearing

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Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday defended a Justice Department memo asking the FBI to watch out for threats of violence against school boards and education officials as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin invoked the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol while discussing those threats.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Durbin urged his colleagues to “type ‘school board violence’ into your computer and take a look at what’s happening.”

GRASSLEY BLASTS GARLAND OVER DOJ SCHOOL BOARDS MEMO AND HUNTER BIDEN INVESTIGATION

The Illinois Democrat cited a 30-year-old man who was arrested in his state after striking a school official at a school board meeting last month, as well as threats and assaults in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and California.

“These are not routine people incensed or angry. These are people who acting out their feelings in a violent manner, over and over again — the same people we see on airplanes and other places, the same people, some of whom we saw here on January 6th,” Durbin said.

Garland said the Justice Department was monitoring not only threats of violence against school boards and officials but “a rising tide of threats of violence against judges, against prosecutors, against secretaries of state,” and election officials.

Critics of the memo described it as an effort to silence parents protesting matters such as mask mandates or curricula to which they object.

In response to a question from Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the committee, about the “polarizing” memo, Garland said the department is only concerned with “violence and threats of violence.”

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Garland also told Sen. John Cornyn peaceful protests by parents are protected by the Constitution.

“The only thing this memorandum is about is violence and threats of violence,” Garland repeated," adding he recognizes the right of "spirited debate."

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Tags: News, Merrick Garland, Dick Durbin, Education, Department of Justice

Original Author: Kate Scanlon

Original Location: Durbin invokes Jan. 6 as he defends school board letter during Garland hearing

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