The Biden administration’s overreach into the financial sector has taken a concerning turn, as revealed by documents obtained by the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan disclosed alarming details indicating that after the events of January 6, 2021, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) directed financial institutions to scrutinize customer data for transactions involving terms like “TRUMP” or “MAGA,” lacking legal justification or due process.
In a letter requesting an interview with Noah Bishoff, the former director of the Office of Stakeholder Integration and Engagement in FinCEN, Jordan outlined the disturbing practices. The documents showed that FinCEN distributed materials to financial institutions post-January 6, outlining ‘typologies’ of various persons of interest and providing suggested search terms, including generic terms like ‘TRUMP’ and ‘MAGA,’ for identifying transactions on behalf of federal law enforcement.
The revelation extends to FinCEN’s analysis, warning financial institutions of ‘extremism’ indicators, which, shockingly, include scrutinizing private transactions for charges related to protected political and religious expression. This essentially urged large financial institutions to delve into the private transactions of their customers based on their political affiliations and religious beliefs.
Moreover, the Weaponization Committee found that FinCEN circulated slides from KeyBank, detailing how banks could use specific merchant category codes (MCCs) and keywords to potentially detect mass shooters, domestic terrorists, and homegrown violent extremists. The keywords included not only gun manufacturers but also sporting goods stores like “Cabela’s,” “Bass Pro Shops,” “Dick’s Sporting Goods,” and “Gander Mountain.”
Jordan emphasized the intrusive financial surveillance and raised concerns about FinCEN’s characterization of Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights as potential threat actors. The mass accumulation and use of private information without legal process, in coordination with federal law enforcement, have sparked apprehensions about FinCEN’s respect for fundamental civil liberties.
In his letter to Bishoff, Jordan outlined the significance of his testimony in shedding light on federal law enforcement’s extensive gathering and utilization of Americans’ private information, FinCEN’s protocols for safeguarding privacy and constitutional rights, and the agency’s collaboration with the private sector on law enforcement matters. The revelations underscore a disturbing trend of overreach into citizens’ private affairs, raising serious questions about the balance between security concerns and individual liberties.