Feds Asked Banks to Comb Customer Data for MAGA

(ConservativeJournal.org) – The House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, led by Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, uncovered documents revealing that the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) requested banks to search for terms like “TRUMP” and “MAGA” in their customer’s data after the January 6 Capitol riot.

Jordan, expressing concern over what he termed “pervasive financial surveillance” based on protected political speech, demanded testimony from former FinCen Strategic Operations Division director Noah Bishoff. According to Jordan, materials that were given by FinCen to financial institutions outlined what to search in the data to find “people of interest” and suggested search terms, including generic phrases like ‘TRUMP’ and ‘MAGA’ for Zelle payment messages.

Additionally, FinCen also provided analysis on “Homegrown Extremism” factors to help financial institutions identify Capitol riot suspects. The indicators included transactions like bus tickets, rental cars, or plane tickets to areas with no apparent purpose, and purchases of books or subscriptions containing extremist views.

Jordan argued that FinCen urged large banks to also investigate private transactions based on protected political and religious expression. He accused FinCen of distributing slides detailing how institutions could flag customers resembling a “potential active shooter” or terrorists based on transactions. The slides suggested searching for terms like that might give any indication that a person a purchased a firearm lately.

Despite these transactions being related to Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights, FinCen allegedly categorized these people as potential threats and even terrorists. Jordan is trying to question FBI officer Peter Sullivan over the FBI’s gathering and use of personal data without upholding the law, privacy protection procedures, and general interaction with banks and why law enforcement did not get involved. Sullivan reportedly provided Bank of America with specific search terms related to firearm, hotel, Airbnb, or airline ticket purchases around January 6, 2021.

Copyright 2024, ConservativeJournal.org