Republicans demand answers from education secretary over NSBA parents-as-terrorists letter

Republicans are demanding Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona testify before Congress after emails showed he solicited the infamous letter from the National School Boards Association that called protesting parents domestic terrorists.

Led by Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, 24 Republican senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, wrote a letter to Cardona Thursday demanding the secretary answer questions related to his role in soliciting the NSBA’s Sept. 29 letter. Attorney General Merrick Garland used the letter as the pretext for establishing a Department of Justice-FBI task force to investigate threats against school board members.

The senators asked for Cardona to respond to six questions regarding his role in soliciting the infamous letter and his personal views, including if he believes “parents exercising constitutionally protected rights are ‘domestic terrorists.'”

The NSBA’s letter drew widespread backlash in the weeks following its release, especially after Garland published a memo establishing the investigative task force. The organization later apologized for the letter, but Garland stood by his memo in October testimony to Congress.

On Tuesday, internal emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from the NSBA revealed that members of the organization said they had written the letter to the Biden administration at the behest of Cardona. The Education Department has denied the secretary requested the letter.