WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) absolutely tore into Attorney General Merrick Garland during a Senate hearing on Wednesday, accusing him of “politicizing” the Department of Justice and lambasting him over what he referred to as an “abusive” memo that directed the FBI and DOJ to investigate parents who had allegedly issued threats against members of local school boards.
“There is a difference between law and politics, and General Garland, you know the difference between law and politics,” Cruz said. “Law is based on facts. It is impartial. It is not used as a tool of political retribution. This memo was not law. This memo was politics.”
Garland had originally issued the memo in question on October 4 in response to a letter from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) that equated the actions of some parents attending school board meetings – many of whom doing so to protest mask mandates and critical race theory teachings – to “domestic terrorism.”
The NSBA later issued an apology, saying, “There was no justification for some of the language included in the letter.”
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During the hearing, Cruz accused AG Garland of failing to conduct research into the claims made by the NSBA letter before directing the DOJ to get involved.
“In the letter, which you told the House of Representatives was the basis of this abusive memo, how many incidents are cited in that memo?” Cruz asked.
However, when Garland replied that he didn’t know how many violent incidents were in the letter and would “have to look back at the memo,” Cruz grew incensed.
“You don’t know. There’s a reason you don’t know. Because you didn’t care, and nobody in your office cared, to find out,” he said. “During this hearing, I counted 20 incidents cited. Of those 20, 15 on their face are non-violent.”
Cruz claimed that the AG was targeting parents not because they posed a violent threat to school board members, but simply because he disagreed with their political viewpoints. In addition, the Texas senator also claimed that Garland had labeled the father of a sexual assault victim in Loudoun County, Virginia as a “domestic terrorist” after he had protested the school district’s alleged cover-up of the incident and was arrested as a result.
“I never called him that. That’s not correct,” Garland insisted.