Jim Jordan, Chairman of the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on Wednesday, announced that it had obtained documents revealing that federal agencies have flagged financial transactions for financial institutions for people using politically sensitive words such as "MAGA" and Trump."
In a letter to Noah Bishoff - who was a former FinCEN Director (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) - and now an Anti Money Laundering (AML) officer at fintech company Plaid, Inc. Jordan described situations in which Americans buying bibles or shopping at sporting good stores might find their transactions flagged.
New documents obtained by the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government reveal that the federal government flagged terms like "MAGA" and "TRUMP" for financial institutions if Americans used those phrases when completing transactions. Individuals who shopped at stores like Cabela's or Dick's Sporting Goods, or purchased religious texts like a bible, may also have had their transactions flagged. This kind of pervasive financial surveillance, carried out in coordination with and at the request of federal law enforcement, into Americans' private transactions is alarming and raises serious concerns about the FBI's respect for fundamental civil liberties. -Judiciary.house.gov
"The Committee and Select Subcommittee have obtained documents indicating that following January 6, 2021, FinCEN distributed materials to financial institutions that, among other things, outline the 'typologies' of various persons of interest and provide financial institutions with suggested search terms and Merchant Category Codes (MCCs) for identifying transactions on behalf of federal law enforcement," reads the letter.
This is one of the most egregious violations of our Constitution— Jim Hanson (@JimHansonDC) January 17, 2024
I can ever recall
The federal government is enlisting financial institutions
To spy on citizens with the sole justification
They are political opponents
"These materials included a document recommending the use of generic terms like 'TRUMP' and 'MAGA' to 'search Zelle payment messages' as well as a 'prior FinCEN analysis' of 'Lone Actor/Homegrown Violent Extremism Indicators," the letter continues. "According to this analysis, FinCEN warned financial institutions of 'extremism' indicators that include 'transportation charges, such as bus tickets, rental cars, or plane tickets, for travel to areas with no apparent purpose,' or 'the purchase of books (including religious texts) and subscriptions to other media containing extremist views.' In other words, FinCEN urged large financial institutions to comb through the private transactions of their customers for suspicious charges on the basis of protected political and religious expression."
The Committee announced that it's seeking interviews with senior intelligence officials, including Bishoff.