Republican leader Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) grilled Attorney General Merrick Garland during a House Oversight Committee hearing on Department of Justice procedures Thursday, demanding to know whether the DOJ is investigating the alleged sexual assault in Loudoun County schools — revealed in a Daily Wire exclusive report — given that a National School Board Association (NSBA) letter referenced the father in that case, Scott Smith, directly.
Garland was, ostensibly, in front of the House committee to discuss the January 6th Capitol Riot, but Republicans took the opportunity to interrogate the attorney general over the NSBA letter that suggested parent complaints at school board meetings could rise to the level of “domestic terrorism” or a “hate crime,” a subsequent DOJ letter directing the FBI to investigate such confrontations, and, specifically, on the sex assault case in Loudoun County.
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) kicked off the interrogation, demanding that Garland address the DOJ memo.
Chabot said he “found it deeply disturbing that the National School Boards Association convinced the Biden administration to sic you and your Justice Department, the FBI … on involved parents as if they were domestic terrorists.”
“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,” Chabot said. “No one has the right to be violent or threaten violence … but we don’t need the vast power of the federal government throwing its weight around.”
Garland responded by suggesting that the DOJ would not pursue an investigation into parent confrontations as though they were akin to “domestic terrorism.”
“Like you, I can’t imagine any circumstance in which the PATRIOT Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children nor can I imagine a circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorists,” Garland said, although the DOJ letter appeared to reference the NSBA request, which did, in fact, suggest the incidents could rise to the level of “domestic terrorism.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) demanded, then, to know why the DOJ had issued their letter advising the FBI, and Garland said that he was not aware of the memo until he read about it in the news.
“Jordan asked if it was a coincidence that Garland’s memo went out days after the NSBA sent their letter to the White House,” according to Fox News. “The attorney general said he first read about the letter in the news and that no one in the White House discussed it with him. Nevertheless, he admitted that the letter ‘was brought to our attention,’ and that someone at the White House had discussed it with someone at the Justice Department.”
Roy focused not merely on the sexual assault, but an additional Daily Wire report that noted that Loudoun County appears to have skirted state reporting rules for sexual assaults on campus, tearing into Garland over the DOJ’s apparent lack of attention to both the alleged sexual assault and Garland’s own distance from the DOJ’s memo.
Using the facts of the case, Roy demanded Garland answer whether the FBI or DOJ was investigating the Loudoun County alleged attack.
Wild clip: Chip Roy asks Garland whether the FBI or DOJ is investigating the Loudoun County School Board. Garland says he doesn't know. Chip Roy asks if Garland would be bothered if Garland's daughter was raped and someone said it didn't happen. Garland evades. pic.twitter.com/9vZmcCWlvv
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) October 21, 2021
“Are you aware that because Loudoun County prosecutors confirmed that the boy who assaulted this young girl in Broad Run high school is the same boy who wore a skirt and went into a girls bathroom, sodomized and raped a 14-year-old girl in a different Loudoun County high school on May 28th? Are you aware of those facts?” Roy asked.
“That sounds like a state case and I’m not familiar with it,” Garland replied.
“Are you aware that Loudoun County failed to report this sexual assault under state law and are you investigating it?” Roy asked.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know anything about this case,” Garland replied.
“Are you aware that the Virginia general assembly, run by Democrats, voted for and Democrat governor Ralph Northam 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 FBI investigating how that may conflict with the Violence Against Women Act and conflict with your own domestic terrorism efforts?” Roy pressed.
“I don’t know anything about the Virginia legislation,” Garland said.
“Is the FBI or the Department of Justice investigating the Loudoun school board for violating civil rights or under the authority of, say, the Violence Against Women Act?” Roy pressed
“I don’t believe so but I don’t know the answer to that,” Garland said.
“I’d ask why not because on June 22nd at a school board meeting in Loudoun country Virginia, the superintendent Scott Ziegler declared, in front of the father of the girl who had been raped, that ‘the predator transgender student or person simply does not exist.’ And that to his knowledge, ‘we don’t have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms,’” Roy shot back.
“It bothered the father of the girl. I’m the father of a daughter, I believe you are too sir,” he continued. “The girl who had been raped — sodomized — 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? If somebody said that didn’t occur.”
“Again, I don’t know any of the facts of this case, but derogatory words are not what my memorandum is about,” Garland contingent.
Garland’s memo, though, was issued, ostensibly, in response to the NSBA request, which references Scott Smith’s case directly.
“Smith, 48, of Leesburg, was charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice…sheriff’s office says he physically threatened someone and then ‘continued to be disorderly with the deputy and resisted arrest,” the memo noted.
According to a subsequent Daily Wire report, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s dispatch logs also list a phone call to the high school from the FBI. After being informed that the school incident was a sexual assault, the FBI waived itself off.