Legal expert calls Jim Jordan’s school board rant ‘embarrassing ignorance’ for a congressman

While being probed in a House hearing Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland was asked by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) about the decision by the Justice Department to discuss strategies for curbing violent threats and intimidation against local officials.

School board officials and members of local city council are being threatened with violence by Republicans opposing mask mandates in schools. GOP officials have made the case that the Republican activists can make violent threats because they are protected by the First Amendment.

"Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation's core values," the attorney general said in a statement Oct. 4. "Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety."

Jordan unleashed a loud rant seeming to claim that the DOJ is retaliating against states and parents angry about things like critical race theory or wearing masks. He went on to probe Garland on whether the White House told him to write his memo, which Garland said it didn't, and demand to know what contact he or his staff had with the White House.

Conspiracy theories claim that FBI agents will be at school board meetings to curb free speech, but Garland dispelled the myth, saying that it wasn't happening. Jordan then tried to claim that the DOJ press release for the Oct. 4 memo said that the task force to review the threats would include "representatives from the department's Criminal Division, National Security Division, Civil Rights Division, the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, the FBI, the Community Relations Service and the Office of Justice Programs, to determine how federal enforcement tools can be used to prosecute these crimes, and ways to assist state, Tribal, territorial and local law enforcement where threats of violence may not constitute federal crimes."

Jordan attempted to use the fact that a National Security Division staffer being on the task force meant that Garland was going to make parents into terrorists.

"Now are you said earlier to a question to one of my colleagues on the Republican side that parents aren't domestic terrorists, we're not going to treat them that way," said Jordan, reading the press release. Garland explained he didn't say that in his letter, but Jordan shouted that it was in the press release about his letter.

It became clear that Garland was fed up.

"I want to be as clear as I can be," said Garland. This is not about what happens at school board meetings. It's only about threats of violence and violence aimed at school officials, school employees, and teachers."

The whole thing appeared to annoy legal experts, who posted on Twitter that Jordan appeared ridiculous during the hearing.

"Jim Jordan tries to conflate an AG directive that FBI consult with state and locals to ensure they're in contact if violence/threats are made against school employees with targeting parents as domestic terrorists," tweeted former U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance. "It's an embarrassing display of ignorance about how DOJ works."

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) began his time to question the attorney general by saying that he's shocked to see Republicans don't care about violence against officials.

See the video below:

Why don't republicans care about violence against officials