Norman Ornstein, contributing editor for The Atlantic, made the bold assertion that Virginia gubernatorial Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin supports violent threats against school board members.
On Sunday, Ornstein tweeted about an Youngkin campaign ad that criticized the FBI and Justice Department for investigating parents protesting school board meetings. In response, Ornstein concluded that Youngkin supported violent threats against school board members.
“Glenn Youngkin’s signature commercial, on schools and parents, attacks the FBI for going after Virginia parents. In other words, Glenn Youngkin supports threats of violence against school board members. He is wholly unfit for public office,” Ornstein tweeted.
Virginians gather to support Glenn Youngkin (Tyler O’Neil/Fox News)
In early October, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) wrote a letter to the Biden administration for the FBI and the Department of Justice to investigate “threats of violence” against school board members. The letter faced backlash for comparing parents protesting to acts of “domestic terrorism,” but Attorney General Merrick Garland proceeded to announce days following the letter that the Justice Department would be looking into these accusations.
One week later, however, a report revealed that one of the disruptions the NSBA cited as a “threat of violence” consisted of Scott Smith, a parent in Loudoun County, Virginia, accusing the district of covering up his daughter’s sexual assault on June 22. Further investigation revealed that the superintendent for Loudoun County Public Schools was made aware of this allegation in May but continued to argue there were “no records of assaults” after Smith’s arrest.
Several people called out Ornstein’s tweet for ignoring these details in his accusation against Youngkin.
Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin (R-VA), greets the crowd during a campaign event with his wife Suzanne and Nikki Haley, the former Governor of South Carolina and Ambassador to the UN, in McLean, Virginia, U.S., July 14, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein (REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)
“’Criticize law enforcement tactics and you’re actually pro-crime’ is maybe not the best long-run position for progressives to stake out,” Axios reporter Lachlan Markay tweeted.
Manhattan Institute senior fellow Chris Rufo wrote, “The tell is ‘in other words,’ which are, in fact, entirely false and specious words invented by Norm Ornstein.”
“Except that’s not what the investigation is about. I wonder if Ornstein has kept up on the news,” National Review writer Dan McLaughlin tweeted.
On Friday, the NSBA published a letter apologizing for the “language” used in its original message for linking parents to domestic terrorists.
“On behalf of NSBA, we regret and apologize for the letter,” the NSBA said, noting that “there was no justification for some of the language included in the letter.”
On Thursday, Garland insisted that the Justice Department and FBI would not label parents domestic terrorists claiming that the “Justice Department supports and defends the First Amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in the schools.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the Department of Justice on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Youngkin has demanded for the resignation of Loudoun County school board members over the cover-up of the sexual assault case.
“There must be resignations,” Youngkin said “In fact, people who have not resigned, I don’t understand how they can possibly go into their next school board meeting. How can they go into their next school board meeting and be expected to sit there and represent our kids’ future when they covered this up?”