Does Merrick Garland have a conflict of interest in looking into school board harassment?

October 8 – Attorney General Merrick Garland directed federal authorities to hold strategy sessions with law enforcement to address increasing threats to school board members throughout the country after the National School Boards Association asked the Biden administration for help.

It brings up a lot of questions – how is that the job of the federal government? Are they confusing threats with simply asking questions?

And the big one – should Garland be involved in any of this when he has a son-in-law benefiting from one of the companies?

Attorney Clint Barkdoll, Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen talked about school board harassment Thursday morning during the Big Talk on First News.

Elana Fishbein spoke on Tucker Carlson last night. She’s the Chief Executive Officer of No Left Turn in Education.

She said, “Part of my work and my movement No Left Turn in Education to mobilize for parents to empower them so we expose what they’re doing in schools. Therefor our parents all over the country in many states are going to school board and are going together so they won’t be intimidated. So they can support each other and insist on exposing specifically what’s being taught in classes.”

Ryan explained, “This was one parent who got really energized and starting asking some questions. Now Merrick Garland is thinking that these threats of you parents asking some questions, the confusion of threats and asking questions and holding these school boards accountable, two different threads going on here. Michele and I were watching Tucker last night. Merrick Garland should get out of this business because it’s his extended family that stands to gain coin with the FBI investigating parents asking questions about school boards.”

Barkdoll said, “There are federal ethics rules and regulations about this. It remains to be seen did he run this through some kind of an inspector general or ethics office? Because if the answer is no, I actually think there are some problems and questions here for him because his daughter-in-law is married to someone that’s directly involved in these programs that the new federal policy is designed to address. It’s still not clear to me what the federal government’s role is. When you look at the attorney general’s announcement from Monday it says the federal government will now coordinate and investigate purported threats and acts of violence against school boards across the United States. These are not federal charges. The federal government can’t file a criminal charge against these kind of actions. These would be state crimes but yet it sounds like the feds are somehow going to be involved in investigating these kind of complaints. It’s not clear to me how much or how little the AG is going to stay involved in this. I guess we’re going to find out in days and weeks to come as complaints might come in, but these questions about his potential conflict of interest I think are legitimate. He’s going to have to come out today or tomorrow with some kind of a statement to address this.”

Jansen explained, “It’s Panorama Education is the name of the company and it’s his son-in-law who does it. I’ve looked at it. They are very embroiled in the critical theory applications. The people that they’ve employed and the way they’re doing social/emotional learning. Very much talks about hegemonic education and oppression and white people having to examine themselves very hard. It truly is Critical Race Theory application within this and so if he has that, I think that’s a huge conflict of interest.”

Barkdoll said, “I still don’t see how the federal government, whether it’s the FBI or some other agency, how do they get involved in coordinating an investigation about someone that is showing up allegedly harassing a school board? These are squarely within state laws, state official investigations. So we’ll see. They’re going to have to release stats on this over the next few weeks and months. How many cases have the feds handled? How many coordinated investigations are they working on at a given time? It’s very uncertain if they even have the real authority to do this.”