Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz fired back with fire and fury after California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell claimed he was “defending Nazis.”
During a hearing on Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Cruz referenced a parent who gestured with a Nazi salute at a school board meeting in order to point out that the incidents in the NSBA letter that seemingly precipitated Attorney General Merrick Garland’s memo targeting parents at school board meetings were largely non-violent incidents.
Swalwell responded to an edited video clip on Twitter of Cruz’s comments, which falsely made it seems as if Cruz was defending using a Nazi salute.
Cruz took to Twitter to hit back at Swalwell, writing: “You are frequently a liar (when you’re not sleeping with Chinese spies). But here, you’re (sic) lie is exactly 180 degrees false. I was defending the right of citizens to denounce authoritarian policies. In other words, to OPPOSE Nazis (or petty tyrants), not to support them.”
On Thursday, Cruz grilled Garland about the school incident and his DOJ memo that fanned the flames.
Cruz asked Garland, “Let me ask you something, (Attorney) General Garland: In the letter, which you told the House of Representatives was the basis for this abusive memo targeting parents, how many incidents are cited in that memo?”
“I have to look back through the memo,” Garland answered.
“You don’t know. How many of them were violent?” Cruz asked.
“Again, the general report—” Garland began.
“How many of them were violent?” Cruz persisted.
“I don’t know,” Garland admitted.
Cruz asserted, “You don’t know. And there’s a reason you don’t know. Because you didn’t care and nobody in your office cared to find out. I did a quick count just sitting here during this hearing; I counted 20 incidents cited. Of the 20, 15 on their face are non-violent. They involve things like insults; they involve a Nazi salute. That’s one of the examples. My God, a parent did a Nazi salute at a school board because he thought the policies were oppressive. General Garland, is doing a Nazi salute at an elected official, is that protected by the First Amendment?”
Garland replied, “Yes, it is.”
Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton also went scorched earth on Garland and demanded that he “resign in disgrace.”
During the hearing, Garland stood by his letter labeling parents who protest Critical Race Theory “domestic terrorists” even though the National School Board Association has apologized for the letter.
“Your testimony, your directive. You should resign. Thank you,” Cotton declared.
The NSBA has since apologized for the memo sent to the DOJ and said there was “no justification for some of the language” it contained. Garland has refused to back down from his position that violence from angry parents at school board meetings should be monitored by the FBI which has called on some to call for his resignation.