During a Department of Justice oversight hearing with Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday, House Judiciary Committee ranking member Senator Jim Jordan expressed his concern, anger, and outrage at an administration that stifles Americans liberties, has said they would investigate parents at school board meetings, and has created an air of fear in the US.
"Mr. Chairman, Americans are afraid," said Jordan, going on to say that "folks all around the country, they tell me for the first time, they fear their government."
At the end of his opening remarks, he was blocked from playing a video highlighting the countless parents that have spoken up in school board meetings. Jordan attempted to have the video played due to Garland's announcement earlier this month that the Department of Justice would take up investigations into parents that have been deemed unruly while speaking out against critical race theory teachings and COVID-19 restrictions in schools.
"I don't think parents should be telling schools what to teach. When government tells parents, we're smarter than you, Americans aren't going to tolerate it. When the Attorney General of the United States sets up a snitch line on parents, Americans aren't going to tolerate it," said Jordan.
"I think they're going to stand up to this accelerated march to communism that we now see. America is going to fight the good fight, they're going to finish the course they're going to keep the faith because Americans value freedom," Jordan continued.
Jordan then stated that he has a video he would like to play for the congress members attending the oversight hearing.
House Judiciary Committee Vice Chair Madeleine Dean objected to viewing the video, questioning whether Jordan had adhered to the committee's AV rules that reportedly state that a person needs to provide 48 hours notice to the committee clerk's desk.
Jordan stated that he did provide notice, but added that "first of all, there's no 48 hour rule. That's not in the committee rules. Second, we did let the committee staff, the majority know that we had a video, and we gave the video to him this morning."
Rep. Jerrold Nadler stated that Jordan did not in fact adhere to the 48 hours rule. Dean insisted on her objection, to which Nadler responded that the video would not be viewed, telling Jordan that the matter is not debatable.
Jordan argued that there is in fact no 48 hours rule in the committee's rules, to which Nadler stated that there is.
"Mr. Chairman, what are you afraid of?" Jordan said. "Mr. Chairman, what are our colleagues in other side of the aisle afraid of? They're afraid of videos of parents."
"It's a video about parents at school board meetings, moms and dads speaking at school board meetings, and you guys aren't gonna let us play it?" he said.
That video was obtained by The Post Millennial:
Following pressing from Jordan for Nadler to present where in the rules it states that 48 hours must be given, Nadler said: "In the case of audio visual materials under the leadership of my predecessor, Chairman Goodlatte, Republican, the committee developed a written protocol for managing the use of audio visual materials in our hearings. This protocol simply requires members to provide 48 hours notice they are going to use audio visual materials."
"Until recently, this kind of this protocol was not controversial. It was a helpful tool we use to manage hearings and make sure video is played properly," Nadler continued. "The gentlewoman has objected to the materials because the gentleman did not provide the agreed upon 48 hours notice, playing audio visual materials during committee hearing is the equivalent of introducing printed materials into the hearing record. In the normal course of business. We do not object each other's requests, but members have the right to object if they so choose. And an objection has been heard."
"Mr. Chairman, did we ever vote on that?" asked Jordan. "That's a clever written statement but a protocol is not a rule."
"Mr. Chairman, obviously, you're not gonna let us play it. Obviously you're gonna censor us, which is sort of the conduct of the left today, it seems, and democrats today It seems," Jordan said.
The video in question features a series of parents speaking out at school board meetings over the last few months, many clips of which have gone viral, including those from the explosive Loudoun County School Board meetings.
The video calls into question the Department of Justice's new actions on investigation threats against school board members, following requests from the National School Board Association in which they "respectfully [ask] for federal law enforcement and other assistance to deal with the growing number of threats and violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation."
The NSBA likened these parents who spoke up to "domestic terrorists," which required investigation.
The video asks Garland, who attended the hearing, "are these parents domestic terrorists, Mr. Attorney General?" and ends with the statement "don't spy on parents."
During Jordan's opening statement, he pointed to a memo from Garland which stated: "I'm directing the FBI to convene meetings with local leaders, these meetings will open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting."
"A snitch line on parents, started five days after a left wing political organization asked for it. That's not political, I don't know what is," said Jordan, questioning where the dedicated lines are for local leaders on the souther border, for leaders of cities facing violent crimes.
Jordan went on to highlight that the same FBI involved in these "snitch lines" have been involved in spying and false information in the past.
"A few weeks ago, the IG at the Department of Justice released a report that found that the FBI made over 200 errors, omissions, and lies in just 29 randomly selected FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) applications. Don't worry, the Attorney General of United States just put them in charge of a dedicated line of communication to report on parents within school board meetings," said Jordan.
"Mr Chairman, Americans are afraid," said Jordan, who noted that "folks all around the country. They tell me for the first time, they fear their government."
"And frankly, I think it's obvious why every single liberty we enjoy, the First Amendment, has been assaulted over the last year. Stop and think about, Americans were told you couldn't go to church, couldn't get to work, couldn't go to school, small business owners were told, you're not an essential business, close your doors, causing many of them to go bankrupt. We were given curfews stay at home orders," Jordan continued.