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Feds Flagged Terms Like ‘Trump,’ ‘MAGA’ For Banks To Comb Through Customer Data

via Trump White House Archived
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Federal officials instructed banks to monitor customer transactions for terms like “TRUMP” or “MAGA,” as well as other activities such as purchasing a Bible or shopping at certain stores, after January 6, 2021.

House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan revealed that FinCEN provided documentation to banks, recommending the use of terms like “TRUMP” and “MAGA” to search payment messages, as well as identifying indicators of extremism.

The letter from Jordan expressed concerns about potential violations of civil liberties and requested interviews with government officials to discuss safeguards for constitutional liberties and the government’s use of private financial information.

Rep. Jordan said, “We now know the federal government flagged terms like ‘MAGA’ and ‘TRUMP,’ to financial institutions if Americans completed transactions using those terms.”

“What was also flagged? If you bought a religious text, like a BIBLE, or shopped at Bass Pro Shop,” he continued.

“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,’” wrote Rep. Jordan.

“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,” explained the lawmaker.

“Despite these transactions having no apparent criminal nexus — and, in fact, relate to Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights — FinCEN seems to have adopted a characterization of these Americans as potential threat actors. 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 doubts about FinCEN’s respect for fundamental civil liberties,” wrote Rep. Jordan.

Additionally, Jordan sought an interview with an FBI official regarding the FBI’s request for information from Bank of America on historical gun purchases related to the January 6, 2021 events.

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