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• Colorado authorities and warrants indicated that Sherronna Bishop’s home was searched because of an investigation into a breach of election systems in Mesa County, Colo.
• Bishop is a supporter of Tina Peters, Mesa County clerk and recorder, whose home also was searched on the same day. Peters is accused of allowing an outsider to copy hard drives in county election offices.
An article that went viral makes a misleading claim that a Colorado mom was targeted by the FBI because she protested at local school board meetings, and it repeats a debunked claim that the FBI is treating parents like her as domestic terrorists.
The headline on the article says, "It Begins: FBI raids house, terrorizes family of mom who protested local school board, elections." The story, appearing on the website LeoHohmann.com, calls the search "the first known case of the federal government making good on its promise to not only intimidate but actually carry out a raid on a mom who was involved in her local school board politics."
The article, shared on Facebook, was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
Sherronna Bishop’s house was searched by the FBI on Nov. 16, but Colorado authorities and warrants for the search indicated that search was related to an investigation into a breach of election systems in Mesa County, Colo. There is no evidence to support the claim she was singled out because of her protests — either against a school board or elections.
Three other related searches were conducted on the same day, including at the home of Tina Peters, Mesa County clerk and recorder. Peters is accused of "sneaking an outsider into Mesa County election offices to copy the hard drives of machines manufactured by Dominion Voting Systems" a voting technology company, the Washington Post reported.
Dominion is at the center of numerous unfounded claims that suggest the company helped sway the 2020 U.S. presidential election results for Joe Biden. The company has since filed a number of defamation lawsuits in response.
Colorado authorities issued a statement saying that the Nov. 16 searches were connected to "an ongoing investigation into the alleged election system breach in Mesa County."
Bishop read aloud from warrants she said the FBI left at her home, during a Nov. 17 interview with Brannon Howse on WVW Broadcast Network, a conservative outlet. The warrants indicate that the agency is investigating potential crimes including intentional damage to a protected computer, wire fraud, conspiracy to cause intentional damage to a protected computer and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Bishop is a former campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., and once made headlines for thanking God for the Proud Boys, a far-right group with members who have expressed white supremacist views. She runs a conservative group called America’s Mom and said during the interview with Howse that she started the organization to educate parents about legislation that "would adversely impact them or their children."
Bishop said America’s Mom has gotten heavily involved in school board races and has been vocal about school board policies.
The claim that the FBI is targeting and intimidating parents involved in local school boards is misinformation based on a misreading of an Oct. 4 memo sent by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. Garland instructed federal agencies to address criminal threats against school administrators, board members, teachers and staff.
Garland’s memo did not include the word terrorist or designate anyone as such, but the false claim has proliferated that parents who challenge school curricula are being labeled domestic terrorists.
An article claims that the FBI targeted Bishop and searched her home because she "protested local school board, elections."
Colorado authorities searched Bishop’s home and those of three others on Nov. 16. But the search was connected to an investigation into an alleged election system breach in Mesa County. There is no evidence linking the search to Bishop’s involvement in school board politics or her statements about the election.
The claim contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.
We rate this claim Mostly False.
LeoHohmann.com, "It Begins: FBI raids house, terrorizes family of mom who protested local school board, elections," Nov. 18, 2021
NBC11 News, "FBI raids homes of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters and Lauren Boebert’s former campaign manager," Nov. 18, 2021
The Washington Post, "Attempted breach of Ohio county election network draws FBI and state scrutiny," Nov. 19, 2021
The New York Times, Dominion Sues Fox News, Claiming Defamation in Election Coverage, March 26, 2021
Colorado Public Radio, "Targets of FBI searches related to Mesa County election security breach say they were excessive, law enforcement dispute that," Nov. 18, 2021
Phil Weiser, Colorado Attorney General, "Joint statement from District Attorney Dan Rubinstein and Attorney General Phil Weiser on Mesa County elections system investigation," Nov. 17, 2021
WVW Broadcast Network, "Exclusive: Colorado Mom Becomes First Parent To Have Her Door Broken Down As DOJ and FBI Target Parents Opposing Marxist Revolution?" Nov. 17, 2021
Twitter profile, accessed Nov. 23, 2021
ABC News, "GOP candidate's former campaign chief: Thank God for Proud Boys," Oct. 16, 2020
Americasmom.net, accessed Nov. 23, 2021
PolitiFact, "No, parents who question school curriculums haven’t been labeled domestic terrorists," Oct. 18, 2021
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