The Biden administration flagged Americans’ transactions using the terms ‘MAGA’ and “TRUMP” following the January 6 U.S. Capitol event.
Americans who purchased Bibles or shopped at stores like Cabela’s or Dick’s Sporting Goods also allegedly had their transactions flagged.
The information was revealed by the House Judicial Committee.
“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,” a press release reads.
Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) sent a letter to former Director of the Office of Stakeholder Integration and Engagement in the Strategic Operations Division of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Noah Bishoff, requesting information related to the matter.
“We now know the federal government flagged terms like ‘MAGA’ and ‘TRUMP,’ to financial institutions if Americans completed transactions using those terms,” Jordan wrote on X. “What was also flagged? If you bought a religious text, like a BIBLE, or shopped at Bass Pro Shop.”
“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,” Jordan wrote.
“In addition, the Committee and Select Subcommittee have obtained documents showing that FinCEN distributed slides, prepared by a financial institution, explaining how other financial institutions can use MCC codes to detect customers whose transactions may reflect ‘potential active shooters, [and] who may include dangerous International Terrorists / Domestic Terrorists / Homegrown Violent Extremists (‘Lone Wolves’).’”
“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,” Jordan added, referring to transactions from sporting and recreational stores.