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FBI gets caught in a lie about investigating parents

FBI Director Christopher Wray told a lie about whether his agency investigates parents as domestic terrorists. A former agent gave him away.

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Christopher Wray, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), definitely needs better preparation to testify before Congress. The House Judiciary Committee had him before the green table for over five hours on Wednesday (July 12). Republicans especially asked him about many things, including why Ray Epps was not then facing charges. (Ray Epps might – or might not – now be facing federal charges for his January 6 Event role.) But Wray also took a question about investigating parents, who come to school board meetings, as if they were terrorists. Wray denied it, on the FBI official site and on Twitter. And a recent FBI whistleblower gave him the lie. Not only that, but other Twitter users picked up the whistleblower’s statement and included it in a Community Note. Now, therefore, is a good time to review the agency’s history of investigating concerned parents.

The FBI said; a former agent said

The FBI issued their brazen denial in this tweet on Twitter:

The link above the image of Director Wray’s remarks is to a paragraph in a story about the Director’s testimony. (“Director Wray champions FBI before House Judiciary Committee”; paragraph headed “Attorney General’s School Board Memorandum.”) That section makes four specific bullet points:

  • The FBI does not police speech, but does concern itself with violence and threats of violence.
  • The agency is not “targeting or using counterterrorism tools” to investigate concerned parents.
  • “Threat tags” are statistical aids only and do not signify the opening of an investigation.
  • Mr. Wray reiterated, on August 4 , 2022, that the mission of the FBI was to protect against violence, not to police speech.

Mr. Wray did say something of the kind, to the Senate Judiciary Committee, on the above date.

Here is the text in the image:

The FBI is not and never has been in the business of policing or investigating speech by parents at school board meetings… when there’s violence or a threat of violence – we’re going to work with our state and local partners as we always have.

But a reader added this Community Note:


The FBI’s statement is misleading. On May 18, 2023, former FBI agent Steve Friend testified before the House Judiciary Committee that he and others were directed to surveil and document parents attending school board meetings.

Steve Friend did leave a tweet:

C-SPAN has video of Mr. Friend’s testimony:

When another user asked Friend how it felt to be able to speak candidly, he answered:

History of the Attorney General’s memo

The Attorney General’s School Board memorandum rates special mention by itself. Merrick Garland issued that memo in response to a letter from the National School Boards Association. CNAV Contributor Darrell L. Castle first described it. The letter itself, and this explanatory page, are still available, courtesy of the Wayback Machine.

It speaks of “threats, harassment, disruption, and acts of intimidation that have transpired during school board meetings and that are targeted at school officials.” But instead of describing examples, it cites legacy media accounts of dubious credibility. It also speaks of unspecified “hurts” to unspecified “persons” in some instances.


CNAV does not condone actual violent acts.

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. Isaac Asimov, from Foundation

But even the worst acts which that letter purports to describe, do not warrant the high-handed response they got. And a high-handed response they indeed got. That response is the Attorney General’s School Board Memorandum.

Which reads in relevant part:

I am directing the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working with each United States Attorney, to convene meetings with federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders in each federal judicial district within 30 days of the issuance of this memorandum. These meetings will facilitate the discussion of strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff, and will open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response.

But several organizations of concerned parents sent a letter of their own to the NSBA, protesting their “federal assistance letter.” They regarded it as the threat it was.

And indeed the FBI did create a threat tag: EDUOFFICIALS. Another whistleblower revealed this a year and a half ago. Furthermore, one of those parents’ groups had reason to believe that NSBA had advance notice of the Garland Memorandum. After that, at least one Florida parent called for a mass exodus from the public schools.


Several school boards broke their ties with the NSBA in response to this scandal. After that, the NSBA apologized.

But the federal government did not

But Attorney General Garland never apologized. And, two days ago, the Director of the FBI tried to say nothing happened, except for the gathering of statistics. That would be hilarious, were not the implications so dire. The spectacle of the FBI getting a Community Note is hilarious. Thank Elon Musk for that. On the new Twitter, “fact checking” is the responsibility of interested users, not a central authority, as on Facebook. Otherwise, no one would have noticed the FBI’s statement.

The rest of the “story” on the “championing” of the agency is also hilarious. For example, the FBI now admits that SARS-CoV-2 leaked out of laboratory in Wuhan. They further admit that 70 percent of medical clinic “domestic terrorism” incidents are against crisis pregnancy centers and other pro-life facilities and “religious institutions,” since the Dobbs decision.

The agency also denies flatly that they tell social media companies what to do. In this they mirror the arguments the government is now making in Missouri v. Biden. That was in fact their excuse to try to get a stay of the Great Injunction. (The judge denied the stay.)

Of course, now that we know the FBI lied about investigating concerned parents, what else are they lying about? Still, they have made significant admissions in other areas of concern – like COVID-19 origins and the real clinic violence problem. If not for the Midterms results, we wouldn’t even have that.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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