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Congressmen demand answers on Eagle Forum subpoena

Republican members of Alabama’s congressional delegation are seeking answers from the Department of Justice over its subpoena to the Eagle Forum of Alabama.

This month, Eagle Forum announced that the DOJ had issued a subpoena seeking all relevant communications regarding its efforts to promote the passage of Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion And Protection Act.

The bill, passed on the final day of the Legislature’s 2022 regular session and signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey in April, banned sex-altering surgeries from being performed upon minors.

The law is being challenged in court by progressive advocacy organizations. As Eagle Forum is not named in the lawsuit, many are questioning the DOJ’s motivations in seeking the conservative grassroots organization’s records.

In a letter led by U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) to the DOJ and Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Republican congressmen wrote that the department’s information-seeking efforts “appear to be a form of political harassment.”

Palmer was joined in the letter by U.S. Reps. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile), Barry Moore (R-Enterprise), Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville), Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and Mike Rogers (R-Saks).

Letter as follows:

In a Tuesday news release, the GOP congressmen issued statements lambasting the DOJ’s subpoena.

Palmer, who serves as chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, indicated that in issuing the subpoena, the DOJ had “infringed upon” the organization’s First Amendment rights.

“Eagle Forum of Alabama is an outstanding organization that represents the values of thousands of Alabamians. To have their first amendment rights infringed upon by the Department of Justice is disrespectful to our Constitution,” said Palmer. “Constitutional protections should not be dictated by the political views of individuals in the White House or their appointees.

“Attorney General Merrick Garland owes an explanation for the motives behind this aggressive action against an organization simply petitioning the government on an issue important to them.”

The department’s efforts to gain Eagle Forum’s communications was a “partisan attack,” according to Carl.

“The Department of Justice’s decision to target the Eagle Forum of Alabama is nothing more than a partisan attack against a conservative organization simply because of their political views,” said Carl. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in this effort demanding answers from Attorney General Merrick Garland as to why the DOJ is attacking private citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights.”

Moore indicated that the DOJ’s efforts was another example of the Biden administration utilizing the federal government to target its political enemies.

“The Biden administration has shown time and again its eagerness to weaponize the executive branch against law-abiding Americans, and the DOJ’s subpoena of Eagle Forum of Alabama is only the latest egregious example,” said Moore. “The Biden administration must explain its actions and stop abusing its authority in such an un-American and partisan manner.”

The department’s actions were “a blatant attempt to intimidate citizens” from partaking in political advocacy, said Aderholt.

“I am deeply concerned with the news that President Biden’s Department of Justice has subpoenaed Eagle Forum of Alabama, a non-profit organization, to turn over its communications related to the development of legislative text,” he said.

“As Americans, we are protected by the First Amendment with the right to petition the government,” he said. “This action by the U.S. government is a blatant attempt to intimidate citizens from participating in the legislative process. It is vitally important that we hear from the Department of Justice about why they took this action and get an explanation for this violation.”

Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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