tv The Faulkner Focus FOX News October 21, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT
jurisdiction? >> any understanding is the judge i -- >> he held the warden in contempt but we haven't seen improvement. >> he asked for a review and the justice department is conducting a review. the marshals did an inspection the other day that was reported in the news and the civil rights division is examining the circumstances. this is the district of columbia jail not the prison system. >> as i explained to members i view the wearing of facemasks as a safety issue and important matter of order and decorum because i'm responsible for preserving order and decorum in this committee i am requiring members of staff attending this hearing to wear facemasks. i came to this decision after the office of the attending physician released its guidance requiring masks in committee hearings some time ago. i note that some members are still not wearing masks.
the requirement is that members wear masks at all times when not speaking. i will take members in compliance with this ruling to consideration when they seek recognition. i see mr. roy, for example. i now recognize ms. jackson lee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me thank you for your enormous work that the department is doing. i have a series of questions. help me out in your answers so that i can secure a response. as you well know, the senate judiciary committee did an outstanding report on how the former president and his allies pressured d.o.j. to overturn the 2020 election. in particular, they noted a series of dates in which they assessed that the former president grossly abused the power of the presidency. he violated the criminally provisions of the hatch act that prevents any person from
commanding federal government employees to engage in political activity. would there be any reason the d.o.j. would not further research or determine that the former president could be prosecuted under the hatch act? >> congresswoman, the justice department has a longstanding policy of not commenting on potential investigations or actual or pending investigations. it's a foundational element of our rule of law norms. it is to protect everyone no matter what their position, former president, current president, congresswoman, senator, or ordinary citizen. ly have to rest on that. i can't comment. >> i take there is no prohibition but thank you so much. the justice department investigated texas five secure juvenile facilities finding sexual abuse. can i get an answer working with the justice department encouraging standardized conditions for these facilities
since the facts were gross in terms of the abuse of those children? i think you are investigating georgia as well. >> we are investigating texas and that was announced and i believe the governor welcomed that investigation and it's being done by a combination of the civil rights division and all four u.s. attorneys offices in texas. >> with respect to compassionate release which came about through the cares act we found 39% of american federal prisoners contracted covid-19, 200700 persons died. there is a potential of the compassionate release being eliminated in those out but i found it is not being utilized appropriately now. the attorney inspector general said that b.o.p. was not prepared with the issue -- to deal with the issue of
compassionate release and prisons aren't made for social distancing. my question is will you monitor what is going on with compassionate release in terms of people returning or the utilization compassionate release from the bop under the issue of covid? >> yes, the answer is yes. obviously the pandemic was something the bureau of prisons or institutions were not prepared for. it created a lot of difficulties and led to compassionate release and leaving people in home confinement. we are certainly reviewing carefully how the bureau is responding now to this dangerous circumstance of covid-19. >> we found as it relates to the women in prison 6,600 are serving huge sentences of life with and without parole, etc. 86% have experienced sexual
violence and intimate partner violence. can we have a more vigorous trauma, mental health protocol for women in prison? >> federal. i think an important part of the first step act requires us to be careful about those things and we've asked for additional funding for that purpose and deputy attorney general is monitoring the way in which the bureau of prisons spends that money and establishes those programs. >> thank you. can i quickly ask, something that hasn't been passed by the house, would that passage help you do a more effective job with domestic violence against women. would it help you be more effective in prosecuting? >> yes, we strongly support reauthorization of the violence against women act. >> gun violence in children has
accelerated. i would appreciate talking further about greater prosecution on gun trafficking and the proliferation of guns. secondly hate crimes surged as well and want to hear about the resources used for hate crimes and then as you well know we have been the poster child in texas for racial gerrymandering. i want to make sure it's on the radar screen of the justice department dealing with that issue of redistricting. my question is the texas abortion law. one of the worst components of -- >> the lady's time has expired. mr. owens. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, attorney general garland for coming today. i would like to take every opportunity i have to share with our nation the making of a great community. i grew up in one in the 1960s. though in the depths of jim
crow segregation it produced giant americans like condoleezza rice, walter williams and colin powell. it was not by accident or rare. this community of faith, family, free market and education, education was the very core of our success. i was raised in a home with teachers. dad was a college professor 40 years, my mom is junior high school teacher and trusted what teachers have done throughout our history to teach children how to read, write, add, subtract and think critically. success in education was always based on parental involvement both expected and welcomed. my great state of utah these expectations of parents have not change. we don't expect nor tolerate leftist teaching of our children behind our backs how to hate our country and hate others based on skin color. some of the recent actions that the department of justice has taken against parents are concerning and i would like to direct my questions around that
topic. similar questions have been asked i do want to make it very clear that some of my constituents some of the concerns i have. we can all agree that true threats and violence of school board meetings are inexcusable. attorney general do you agree with the national school board association that parents who afend school board meetings and speak passionately against inclusion of programs like critical race theory should be characterized as domestic terrorists? >> i do not believe that parents who testify, argue, complain about school boards and schools should be classified as domestic terrorists or any kind of criminals. parents have been complaining about the education of their children and about school boards since there were such things as school boards and public education. this is totally protected by the first amendment. i take your point that true
threats of violence are not protected by the first amendment. those are the things we're worried about here. those are the only things we're worried about here. >> thank you for that. is the illegal presence for the department of justice to investigate peaceful protests or parental involvement at public school meetings? >> we are not investigating peaceful protests or parent involvement in school board meetings. there is no precedent for doing that and we would never do that. we are only concerned about violence, threats of violence against school administrators, teachers, staff, people like your mother a teacher. that's what we're worried about. we are worried about that across the board. we're worried about threats against members of congress and threats against police. >> thank you very much for that. i'm a member of the education committee. on october 7th republican members of this committee sent you a letter you and secretary cordona expressing concern about disparaging remarks that
the secretary made against parents. in the letter we request you educate the committee before before your threats to parents lawful expressions of legitimate concerns. have you received that letter and do you plan an testifying before the housed indication committee. >> let me say this. i appreciate you being here, attorney general. i was aware of the time when our race led our country -- black men re-- [inaudible] and aware in 2017 studies that department of education that 75% of the black boys in the state of california cannot pass standard reading and writing test. in those days parents were involved and there was a trust
that was we would send our kids to school and taught to love our country, love each other and love education. i will implore parents throughout to get involved. do not trust any other adults particularly our educational system for the future of your kids. get involved. fight for your rights tore your kids to love our country, love education. we get back to old school america and appreciate the fact of who we are and an educational system teaching us to do that. >> trace: mr. cowen. >> thank you, welcome general garland. it's a difficult position for me to question you. i have such respect for your -- there are questions i must ask. the senate judiciary committee had a report recently about the
attempts of president trump to get department of justice employees involved in the stop the steal campaign to subvert the election. are any of those people involved in that still at the justice department? >> you know, all the bold face names i know about, political appointees, they are not at the department. i don't believe so. >> i would appreciate if you check into that if they participated in this in any way they should come to your attention and have certain sanctions. you have defended or sought to continue to defend president trump in his defamation action. he called the woman a liar and accused her of conspiring with the democratic party in her allegation of rape and for what it was worth he said she wasn't his type. his type is apparently fairly
expansive. you are defending him. do you think that the public sees that as a proper use of department of justice resources when it has been shown we're short on personnel in the civil rights division and that we need to personnel and yet we're defending president trump's lawsuit by a woman he defamed >> we're not defending the defamation made by the former president. as i said publicly several times, sometimes being the attorney general and sometimes being the judge means taking positions with respect to the law that are required by the law but which you would not take as a private citizen. in this circumstance, the justice department's briefing is not about whether this was defamation or wasn't defamation. it was solely on the question on the application of the tort claims act. there is consistent precedent
in the d.c. circuit which holds that even defamatory statements made during press conferences by public officials are within the scope of employment for that very narrow purpose and for that very narrow definition. >> if i may, sir, i appreciate that and read that. this was an action he took as a private citizen. now again a private citizen and was totally outside of anything to do with him being president. i hope you will look into it again. the public sees it as a mistake. the rule of law you made clear is one of the major tenets of the department of justice to uphold the rule of law. michael cowen spent time in prison for paying at the direction of president trump hush money to stormy daniels and another woman. i believe it's well-known that president trump was individual one as described in the
indictment. he couldn't be indicted because of the department of justice policy you don't indict a sitting president. he is no longer a a sitting president. do you believe looking into individual one is not an abuse of rule of law and that it's principle. >> the norm of the justice department we don't comment on whether we're investigating what the status of investigations are until -- unless and until there is a public charge. that's important to protect everyone whether it be a former president, an existing president, or public official or private individual. >> i will except that. i hope you will look at it. i believe that he is equally if not more guilty and seems like people get favored treatment. transparency is important as well. amy burrman jackson tried to release records concerning bill
barr's down playing of the trump's obstruction of the mueller investigation. this committee was looking into the emoluments clause violation of the trump hotel and see reports. the d.o.j. appealed. do you believe the transparency those 2w0 situations are ones where transparency was not per misted as well as the mueller report that hasn't been redacted. >> with respect to judge jackson's ruling i respect her very much. we just have a difference of opinion with respect to the freedom of informations act privilege exception and we believe that in that circumstance, the memorandum that was given to attorney general barr is protected by that so that all attorneys general can receive honest advice from their subordinates. that matter is before the d.c. circuit now. everything i've just said is in our papers. it will be resolved by the d.c.
circuit. >> mr. attorney general, millions of americans are deeply concerned today that instead of addressing the most pressing issues facing our country, we're watching the biden/garland justice department be weaponized. you are using your authorities now to advance far left policies and attack republican-led state actions andy road constitutional norms. the most recent case has been brought up this morning. your memorandum directing the f.b.i. and other department of justice officials to get involved in local school board debates. it concerns us it was issued five days after the national school board association sent a letter to president biden that said parents were the equivalent of domestic terrorists. giving the timing of all this your memo appears to have been motivated by politics than federal law enforcement need. it is concerning and worthy of investigation. it also concerns us that your
actions may have been motivated by your family's financial stake in this issue. published reports show your son-in-law co-founded a company called panorama education and it publishes and sells critical race theory and sant i racism materials to schools across the country and works with school districts forobtain and analyze data on students often without parental consent. on its website the company brags it surveyed more than 13 million students in the u.s. raised $76 million from powerful investors including people like mark zuckerberg just since 2017. my first question is this. are you familiar with title v of the code of federal regulations which addresses the rules of impartiality for executive branch employees and officials? >> i am very familiar with it and i want to be clear once again that there is nothing in this memorandum which has any effect on the kinds of curriculums that are taught or
the ability of parents to complain about the kinds -- >> i understand your position. wait just a minute. the question is, the thing that is concerning many of those parents showing up at school board meetings. the basis of their objection and vigorous debate as you mentioned earlier is the curricula that your son-in-law is selling. so to millions of americans, my constituents i was home all weekend and got a earful about this are very concerned about that. sub part e. fed regulation says it's discouraged in engaging in conduct. your son-in-law, your daughter meets that definition. and so the question is, did you follow that regulation? did you have the appropriate agency ethic official look into this and seek guidance as the federal regulation requires?
>> this memorandum is aimed at violence and threats of violence. >> excuse me, did you seek ethics counsel before you issued a letter that directly relates to the financial interest of your family yes or no. >> this memorandum does not relate to the financial interests of anyone. >> i take that as a no. >> memorandums against violence and threats of violence. >> mr. attorney general will you commit to having the appropriate ethics designee review the case and make the results public? >> this memorandum is aimed at violence and threats of violence. >> you aren't answering my question. with all due respect will you submit to an ethics review of this matter? >> there is no company in america or hopefully no law abiding citizen in america who believes that threats of violence should not be prevented. there are no conflicts of interest that anyone could have. >> according to you. with due respect that's the purpose of the federal
regulation. we need objective third parties to review our activities. you don't get to make that decision yourself. it does than matter. you are the chief law enforcement of this country. it raises questions in the minds of millions of americans and your impartiality is being called to question. >> i am very aware of the ethics requirements. >> you aren't followed them. >> i have followed them and lived with them for the last 25 years. >> did you seek an ethics review of this or not? >> i will say good there are no conflicts of interest involved when the justice department. >> according to you. you are not respecting our rules, our constitutional norms and the federal law that directly applies to your activities. this is a great concern. this is why people are losing faith in our institutions and losing faith in the department of justice and you and i both know as constitutional attorneys that if the people lose their faith in our system of justice, if they lose their faith in the idea that justice
is blind. there is one standard. >> i completely agree the rule of law and respect for it is essential and always do everything possible to uphold that and avoid any kind of conflict of interest. >> you will not submit to an ethics review. >> time of the gentleman has expired. >> it was a question. it was a question. >> editorial comments from the chair about other people's questions is not appreciated. >> mr. johnson of georgia. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you for being here general garland. this summer the house passed hr4, the john lewis voting rights advancement act to strengthen sections 2 and 5 of the voting rights act and this
summer it was suing the state of georgia under section 2 of the voting rights act and commend your department for working to protect the rights of all americans to vote. section 2 of the voting rights act prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race while section 5 of the act main dates that changes to voting practices in certain covered jurisdictions be pre-cleared by federal authorities. with the supreme court having nullified section 5 in effect the pre-clearance requirement by ruling the coverage formula was unconstitutional, does the department view section 2 litigation alone as adequate to safeguard voting rights, or must congress pass the john lewis voting rights advancement act and reinstate section 5 in order for voting rights to be
adequately safeguarded zbloo. the justice department supports that act. section 2 is what we have. section 5 is what we need. >> knowing the house has passed hr4 does the justice department support passage of the john lewis voting rights advancement act in the united states senate? >> yes, sir. >> thank you. on september 4th, 2021, d.o.j. announced an investigation into georgia prison conditions. "the new york times" reported that over 25 incarcerated persons died last year by confirmed or suspected homicide in georgia prisons and 18 homicides as well as numerous stabbings and beatings have been reported this year. what is the timeline for this investigation and will you commit to briefing the committee and the georgia delegation on the results of the inquiry? >> we are doing that
investigation. it is pursuant to statute which authorizes the civil rights division to bring those kinds of cases. i can't tell you what the timeline is, these kind of things take a considerable amount of time. and i am not sure what the legal requirements are with respect to briefings outside. this is now in court and so i'm not sure what additional material can be provided outside of what we provide in court. but we'll look into it for you. >> thank you. much of what is known about conditions in georgia prisons is derived from social media posts, including video footage posted during a prison riot last year. how are social media and the use of smuggled smartphones by inmates aiding d.o.j. in its civil rights investigation of georgia's prisons? >> sorry, i don't know the answer to that question but i will see if i can ask at the civil rights division how they are using that material. >> thank you.
mr. attorney general garland. the sackler family has used every part -- including abusing the bankruptcy system to secure civil immunity and now johnson & johnson has scrambled its organizational charts to put tens of thousands of legal claims into bankruptcy to avoid further liability for its cancer-causing powder. do you believe culpable individuals and corporations should use the shell game to shield themselves from liability. >> i don't know anything about the second example you gave. as to the first the justice department's bankruptcy trustee has weighed in to appeal the decision and i think the matter is now pending in court. >> thank you. lastly, i will note that there has been a lot of discussion by
my friends on the other side of the aisle about local school boards and i will point out the fact that there are reports that restrictions on the discussion of race and history in schools, these laws that are being put forward by republican-led states, are causing administrators to tell teachers that in addition to having an opposing view on slavery, now they are saying that you've got to include an opposing view on the holocaust if you have any books that are teaching about that. you've got to have an opposing view. this is the danger that we -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. mr. jordan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. march 25 joe biden criticizes the georgia election law and 3
months later the d.o.j. opposes it. september 29th political organization asks president biden to involve the f.b.i. in local school board issues and five days later the department of justice does just that. mr. attorney general was it just a coincidence your memo came five days after the national school board association letter went to the president? >> we are concerned about violence and threats of violence across the board against school officials, against -- >> any connection with the school board letter and five days later your memo to regarding school board issues? >> obviously the letter, which was public and asked for assistance from the justice department, was brought to our attention and it is a relevant factor. >> who gave you the letter? who gave it to you? >> i read about the letter in the news. that's how i read about it. >> did the white house tell you to write the memo? >> no one in the white house spoke to me about the memo at
all. i'm sure i -- i certainly would believe that the white house communicated its concerns about the letter to the justice department and that is -- >> that's my next question did you or anyone at the justice department discuss the memo with white house personnel or with anyone at the white house before the memo was sent? >> i did not. i don't know whether anyone discussed the memo. i am sure the communication from the national institution of school boards was discussed between the white house and the justice department and that's perfectly appropriate. >> who at the white house talked to who at the justice department? >> i don't know. i don't know. >> did someone call you? >> i've answered no one there the white house spoke to me but the white house is perfectly appropriately concerned about violence just like they are concerned about violence in the streets and they make requests of the justice department in that respect just like -- >> did you or anyone at the department of justice communicate with the american
federation of teachers, national education association or national school board association prior to your memo? >> i did not. i don't know. >> you don't know if anyone else in the justice department did? >> i don't know. >> did you or anyone at the justice department communicate with those organizations prior to the letter? did you help the national school board association put together the letter? >> again, i have had no such conversations. i would be stur surprised if that happened >> will f.b.i. agents being attending local school board meetings? >> no. there is nothing in the memo to suggesting that. this memo is about violence and threats of violence. >> the same day you did the memo the justice department sent out a press release monday october 4, 2021. the press release says justice department addresses violent threats against school boards and teachers. a question to one of my colleagues you said parents are
domestic terrorists. according to the attorney general's memorandum the justice department will launch efforts designed to address the rising criminal conduct directed towards school personnel. they're expected to include the creation of a task force from the civil rights division, criminal division. f.b.i., committee, office of justice programs and the national security division. now i find that interesting. you said there is no way you treat parents as domestic terrorists but you have the national security division. >> my memo -- >> the press release from the department of justice talks about the national security division being part of this effort. >> i want to be clear as i can be. this is not about what happens inside school board meetings.
only about threats of violence and violence aimed at school officials, school employees, and teachers. >> first sentence of your memo you said in recent months there has been a disturbing spike in intimidation and -- >> i read the letter and we're seeing over time. >> whoa, i didn't ask. you read the letter. that's your source? >> let me be clear. this is not a prosecution or -- >> is there some study someone did that said there has been an disturbing uptick or you take the words of the national school board association? >> they represent thousands of school boards and school board members when they say there are these kind of threats, when we read in the newspapers reports of threats of violence, when that is in the context of threats of violence. >> the source for the very first line in your memo. >> time of the gentleman has expired. time of the gentleman has expired.
mr. doufp. >> thank you for being here. what is so disturbing to me is the lack of concern about threats of violence. general garland, let me give you some examples. in florida school board member reported she was followed to her car and received messages from people saying we're coming for you. she was concerned when people were going behind her home and brandishing weapons. she have is not alone in texas a parent tore a teacher's mask from her face. another sent a teacher to a hospital. arizona a school official was told you'll get knifed. a fight broke out after a school board meeting in missouri. i appreciate, attorney general garland, your concern about threats to people who are doing their job trying to help our kids get a good education. i'm grateful to you for that. my question is, as our governor in florida claimed your efforts
are weaponizing the d.o.j., i would like to know whether governor desantis has been cooperative in your efforts to protect our schools. >> i don't know the answer to the question that you are asking. we are trying to prevent violence and threats of violence. it is not only about schools. we have similar concerns with respect to election workers, with respect to hate crime. with respect to judges and police officers. this is a rising problem in the united states of threats of violence and we're trying to prevent the violence from occurring. >> i appreciate it and i'm shocked and dismayed by the lack of concern by some of my colleagues on this committee. last year as you pointed out over 93,000 people died of overdose in america. young people age 15-24 saw a 48% increase. earlier this year i lost my nephew after he took fentanyl.
the d.e.a. issued its first public safety alert in six years and ramped up enforcement efforts results in the seizure of 11.3 million pills and 810 arrests. in a "washington post" article d.e.a. warns about fentanyl meth laced pills. i want to submit it for the record. mr. chairman. >> without objection. >> in that article, young people assume a pill purchased online must be made in a lab and must not be too dangerous. we're in the midst according to d.e.a. administrator in the midst 6 an overdose crisis and counterfeit pills. they're being sold on social media sites. snapshot, tik tok, instagram, youtube. the drug dealer isn't just standing on a street corner
anymore, it is sitting in a pocket on your phone. attorney general, what more should social media companies be doing to prevent young people from finding deadly drugs on their platform and what more can you do about it? >> with respect to the latter question what we can do about it. the d.e.a. has intensified focus on fentanyl crossing the border from mexico made from pre-cursor which coming from the people's republic of china. it is a very dangerous circumstance. the article comes from a press conference that the d.e.a. administrator gave. many of the pills are lethal overdose with one pill and a very dangerous problem that we're putting our full attention to. >> i assure you that there is strong notwithstanding much of what else you'll hear today
strong bipartisan support in this congress to combat the threats of fentanyl rising overdoses. the person who shot and killed 17 people at the douglas high school pleaded guilty in a courtroom. parkland families believe gun companies must be held responsible for the dangerous marketing of assault weapons. unfortunately the protection of lawful commerce and arms act has blocked countless victims and family members from their day in court. it provides broad immunity in civil lawsuits unique to the gun industry. unfortunately the department of justice has a long history of intervening in civil cases to defend this law. question is whether you believe attorney general garland that -- the repealing of that could improve gun safety in america. >> the president has already stated his opposition to the
statute. our obligation in the justice department is to defend the constitutionality of statutes that we can reasonably argue are constitutional. that's the position that the justice department takes whether we like the statute or not. we defend the constitutionality of congress's work. >> i hope you will support. >> time of the gentleman has expired. we'll take a short five-minute break. we will turn immediately after the committee stands in recess. >> harris: so we've been watching the hearing before the house judiciary committee and the attorney general merrick garland get pretty testy at times. everything from whether or not republicans could show and in particular congressman jim jordan could show a video supporting the questions that they are asking the a.g. about parents being targeted by the f.b.i. specifically about those things and they were denied based on
what chairman nadler of the house judiciary committee said was a point of rule there. someone objected and they went on. the back and forth got chippy for a bit. and then just moments ago, we saw something else and they are taking a break now and while they do we'll step in with "the faulkner focus". i'm hair use -- harris "the faulkner focus". a moment ago you saw the a.g. pressed on what may seem to be naked eye a conflict of interest for him to talk at all about going after parents and leveraging the f.b.i. to do that over issues that parents may have on what is being taught inside their children's's classroom. critical race theory. i believe we have a little bit of that. i will ask my team for that. >> given the timing of all this your memo appears to have been motivated by politics more than any pressing federal law enforcement need. it also concerns us that your
actions may have been motivated by your families financial stake. >> i'm very familiar with it and want to be clear once again that there is nothing in this memorandum, which has any effect on the kinds of curriculums that are caught and their vigorous debate is the very curricula that your son-in-law is selling. >> did you seek ethics counsel before you issued a letter that directly relates to the financial interests of your family yes or no? >> this memorandum does not relate to the financial interests of anyone. it is against -- >> i take that as a no. >> harris: it went on. they only have five minutes apiece so it went on. mercedes schlapp, former trump white house advisor for strategic communications and kevin walling, former joe biden
campaign surrogate. great to see you. mercedes you knew the topic would come up with the a.g. garland's son-in-law. we were anticipating someone might ask about him because of his ties to what is being taught but i will let you speak on what you saw. >> i have to tell you i feel like i saw the tail of two congress. it is the democrats who are very much stuck on trump, very much stuck on seeing if the department of justice will further investigate trump as a private citizen in a defamation lawsuit. they are still very focused on january 6 and you have the republicans very focused on critical race theory on the fact that garland did move very quickly on asking the f.b.i. to investigate these incidents that are happening across the country in the school boards. so i think for congressman mike johnson, i think he was very
effective in just asking a very simple question. will you allow to be -- to go under an ethics review based on this potential conflict of interest? and i have to tell you, i was surprised attorney general garland wouldn't just say yes. he said he did due diligence but i don't think it's a good enough answer for him. >> harris: it is interesting. his son-in-law tied to the teaching of crt-like curriculum and then so quickly you see with the request going to the white house from that national association of school boards. can you get involved in this? can the d.o.j. get involved and so quickly for the a.g. to do so and direct the f.b.i. to look at parents. kevin, i'll come to you after this. a little more from republicans on the controversial d.o.j. memo investigating parents at school board meetings. >> i think your memo was the
last straw, the catalyst for a great awaken just getting started. pilots at southwest airlines, chicago police union, parents at school board meetings. americans are pushing back because they value freedom. when the attorney general of the united states sets up a snitch line for parents they'll stand up for the accelerated march to communism we see. america will fight the good fight and finish the course and keep the faith because americans value freedom. >> one of the tools in your arsenal of weapons, of course, is the patriot act that i just mentioned. not many current members of this committee were here when we passed the patriot act. but i was. and mr. chairman, you were, too. i remember clearly that we were both concerned about potential abuse of this new law enforcement tool. i can tell you, not in a million years did we dream that one day we would see the
justice department treat american parents as domestic terrorists. >> you said a moment ago you couldn't imagine a parent being labeled a domestic terrorist but parents all over the country believe that's exactly what you labeled them by your memo indicating you were going to get involved in board meetings, school board meetings because of the threat of domestic terrorism. so if you can't imagine a parent being labeled a domestic terrorist, i would encourage you to redo your memo so it is not so perceived as being so threatening to people concerned about their kids' education. >> harris: kevin, i'll start with you on this. do they need to redo that memo to the d.o.j. so parents don't feel targeted? that's a section that handles
terrorist threats in the f.b.i. would be looking at them. >> good to be with you and fireworks this morning before the house judiciary committee. i wish you had played the clip with congressman owens, republican of utah with the attorney general. it was an effective conversation where he said clearly he does not believe any of these parents are domestic terrorists and no f.b.i. presence at any school board meetings and very clear on that. has been focused on the threats of violence and seen the uptick in violence and play tapes from school board meetings where it crosses the line from first amendment protections into the territory of threats and violence following these school board members to their cars as congressman from florida mentioned in his questioning. so the attorney general has been effective to keep it focused on the question of violence. when it crosses a line. not at all where it comes to first amendment rights of parents to have a say in the classrooms. >> harris: i want to get into
that. you think the a.g. has been successful or i guess in your words making progress. here is the point. you're right. mr. owens asked whether or not the f.b.i. would be showing up to board meetings. what he didn't say and what follow-up could have been is why do you have so little faith in law enforcement handling things that break off in their own jurisdictions and why do you need to get the federal government involved in something that hasn't turned out to be what you are describing in every instance, kevin? in fact, most of the time you will see some signs and boisterous parents. most of the time at those school board meetings you have city officials there and a little police presence and that's always been the case. there has always been an officer there. i want to be sensitive because this may be starting. my team will let me know when they go back in. i may have to cut you off.
mercedes, i want to get your quick thought on that. >> i've got to tell you, i think it is government overreach. the mere fact they are using the f.b.i. to investigate these incidents. they should be using local law enforcement and the mere fact that garland has said they have used these terms is a big problem. >> a young girl was sexually assaulted. attorney general garland, are you aware because loudon county prosecutors confirmed the boy who assaulted this young girl is the same boy who wore a skirt and went into a girl's bathroom, sodomized and raped a 14-year-old girl in a different loudon county high school on may 28th. are you aware of those facts? are you aware further that the boy was arrested and charged for the first assault in july but released from juvenile detention? >> it sounds like a state case and i am not familiar with it.
i'm sorry. >> do you agree with loudon parents who said it should not be allowed. >> i don't know the facts in the case. the way you put it sound like i would agree with you. but i don't know the facts of the case. >> is the f.b.i. or department of justice investigating the loudon school board for violating civil rights or violence against women act? >> i don't believe so but i don't know the answer to that. >> on june 22 at a school board meeting in loudon county the superintendent declared in front of the father of the girl who had been raped that the predator transgender person simply does not exist. and that to his knowledge we don't have any records of assault occurring in our restrooms. when the statement bothered the father of the girl. i believe you are father of a daughter. the girl who had been raped in the bathroom of a high school by a dude wearing a skirt. that father reacted. now that father reacted by
simply using a derogatory word. would that statement have bothered you if your daughter had been raped and somebody said it didn't occur? >> i don't know anything about the facts of this case but derogatory words are not what my memorandum is about. >> the victim's mother said my child was raped at a school. the father was arrested of a 48-year-old plumber became the poster boy for the biden administered has concocted to destroy anyone who gets in the way. as the ranking member said the national school board association wrote a letter to the president citing this case. we know it to be true. attorney general, do you believe a father attending a meeting exercising his first amendment rights and getting angry about whatever lies are being told about his daughter being raped in the school he sent her to be educated in, that this is domestic terrorism yes or no?
>> no, i do not think that parents getting angry at school boards for whatever reason constitutes domestic terrorism. it is not a close question. >> to be clear, even if there is a threat of violence do you believe that it is domestic terrorism that the f.b.i. has the power to target american citizens in local disputes because a father gets mad? i'm not saying mr. smith did that. he didn't. i can tell you how i would have reacted. mr. smith should be given a medal for his calm to be able to hold back his anger. are you aware that loudon county failed to report this sexual assault according to state law and are you investigating this? >> i'm sorry, i don't know anything about this case. >> are you aware the virginia general assembly voted for and democrat governor signed a bill allowing schools to refrain from reporting instances of sexual battery stalking, violation of a protective order and violent threats occurring on school property? is the f.b.i. investigating how this may conflict with the
violence against women act or conflict with your own domestic terrorism efforts? >> i don't know anything about the virginia leatherlation. >> do you agree with this? as a father or cabinet member. you don't want parents coming into every different school jurisdiction saying this is what should be taught here and this is what should be taught here? >> the justice department has no role with respect to what curriculum is taught in the schools. this is a matter for local decision making and not for the justice department and we are not in any way suggesting that we have any -- >> i would note that statement was by democratic candidate to virginia. a number of other issues that concern the virginia department of education what is being taught there and the lack and total failure of loudon county of reporting all these incidents occurred in loudon county public schools. attorney general garland i sent a letter along with thomas massey regarding the instance and haven't gotten a response from the department of justice.
will you commit to respond? >> gentleman's time has expired. ms. bass. >> thank you, mr. chair. attorney general garland, in 2014, 12-year-old tam area rice was fatally shot by a cleveland police officer. despite multiple requests from prosecutor in the civil rights division to investigate this shooting the case stalled without approval from d.o.j. officials who had political concerns about high visibility police misconduct cases. ultimately department officials essentially ran the clock out on the statute of limitations for federal obstruction of justice charges. that following december, a whistleblower and barr ended the department's inquiry into the killing. this year the family wrote a letter requesting the department reopen the inquiry into her murd and convene a grand jury. according to a department spokesperson the letter has
been received. i wanted to know if you could tell us today if the department has reviewed the letter and if you know when the department will respond to this request to reopen the inquiry? >> when the department receives a letter like that it would go to the civil rights division for examination and in line with our general norm of not disclosing pending investigations. i don't know the answer to the question but even if i did i would not be able to give an explanation. >> sadly yesterday the a.p. released a report on how police use of force on children and i would like to ask the chair -- request unanimous consent to submit for the record this article. how police use force against children. out of 3,000 cases analyzed where police -- against children under 16, more than 50% of them were
african-american children despite the fact that only 15% of the u.s. child population is african-american. the american psychological association found that black boys as young as 10 are more likely than white counterparts to be perceived at guilty. use of force against children can include physical restraint, handcuffs, tasers, dogs and firearms. in one distressing case cited in the a.p. report law enforcement officers attempted to handcuff a 6-year-old girl but were unable to because her hands were too small. these encounters can be traumatizing and impact children's perception of police moving forward. i want the know to the best of your knowledge are law enforcement officers trained how to properly interact with children? there have been several reports of officers attempting to handcuff 5, 6 and 7-year-old children. >> i'm afraid i don't know the answer. federal government almost never is involved in those kind of
cases. however, we do have funding for use of force guidelines and that sort of thing. we also have under our office of juvenile justice to help set up standards. i don't know the specifics. >> last month you announced a new policy prohibiting the department's federal law enforcement component from using choke hold or carotid restraints. thank you for that considering we weren't able to pass the law in the senate. i commend the department for taking these steps to reduce the potential for abuse of force by federal law enforcement. that being said we've seen other incidences such as in the tragic case ofy elijah yeah mcclain where methods of restraints have been used with horrifying results. what is the departments policies using chemical restraints by law enforcement
components during an individual's arrest. the department in colorado administered -- required a paramedic to administer a drug. i want to know if there is any policy around prohibiting chemical restraints. >> i'm not familiar with that specifically. 2 deputy attorney general is doing a review of use of force policies and that's where the choke holds policies came out of. i don't know about the question you are asking but i would be happy to have staff get back to you. >> once again i appreciate d.o.j. trying to step in where we weren't successful in the senate in terms of the george floyd justice in policing act and want to know if you could expand on further action that the department of justice will be taking in lieu of us passing legislation. >> there are a lot of things
we're doing. we have begun again to look for -- at the pattern of practice investigations of police departments for patterns of unconstitutional policing as provided by statute that congress did pass and gave us the authority to do. we will again use consent decrees where they are appropriate. we've issued memoranda with specific standards when they are appropriate and when not. may include monitors, may not. again with new standards about when monitors are appropriate. that's one -- certainly one very significant area. i think one of the other members mentioned that we have the three of those proceedings and we also have in texas proceeding about the youth jails and youth prisons to follow up on your other questions where we do those kind of investigation. >> time has expired. mr. tiffany. >> thank you, mr. attorney general for being here today.
right over here in this corner. the equal protection clause was incorporated into the fifth amendment to prevent the federal government from discriminating against americans based on race. do you agree that race is a suspect classification? >> yes, that's what the supreme court has held for since the late 1950s. >> thank you very much for that. so the so-called american rescue plan earmarked billion else of dollars in united states department of agriculture debt relief based solely on race. why are you and your department defending the american rescue plan that discriminates based on race? >> so i believe you are referring to a district court case where that is at issue. i can't say any more than is in the pleadings in that case. this has to do with whether
there are additional -- in addition to race used in making these grants and whether there is sufficient evidence of historical practices tied to race. >> it is very explicit in the bill the democrats wrote in this congress and president biden signed to law said this is based on race. doesn't this meet the standard of that is pure discrimination that our country has tried to rid itself of? >> i believe the question has to do with historical patterns of discrimination against black farmers and i believe that the purpose of what's going on in the district court now is examing the record to determine if there is a sufficient record in that respect. >> sounds like you support the legislation then. >> the question for us is the constitutionality of the legislation. that's the only question before us. as i said with respect to
another statute, the justice department defends the constitutionality of statutes construed as constitutional. we believe that statute can be, yes. >> i would like to move on. recently you directed the f.b.i. to coordinate with 14,000 school districts after the national school board association asked you to protect school boards from the imminent threat of parents. along with friends, neighbors and constituents i have attended multiple school board meetings over the last year and have a child in public school yet. very concerned about some of the things going on. yes, some of those school board meetings get heated. are we, my friends, constituents and neighbors, are we domestic terrorists? are we criminals? >> no. again, i don't know the facts that we are talking about but the only way that you are criminals of the few commit acts in violation of the statutes which would mean threa o