The Treasury Department has admitted that it helped law enforcement catch people involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach by urging banks to comb through the private transactions of customers using terms like “MAGA” and “Trump” as part of a surveillance scheme intended to fight money launderers but used to hunt Jan. 6-ers.
In January, The Epoch Times reported on allegations that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)—the U.S. Treasury Department’s financial crime-fighting unit—was accused of engaging in “pervasive financial surveillance” by circulating materials to banks that listed keywords that could be used to flag private financial transactions of potential Jan. 6 suspects for law enforcement.
The materials also allegedly included instructions to banks to use indicators that could include “the purchase of books (including religious texts)” and subscriptions to media containing “extremist views.”
The explosive allegations that FinCEN pushed banks to surveil the private transactions of their customers for suspicious charges based in part on political and religious expression prompted Republican lawmakers to demand answers.
Among these was Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, who pressed Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and FinCEN director Andrea Gacki for answers in a Jan. 19 letter, in which the lawmaker alleged that, if true, the allegations “represent a flagrant violation of Americans’ privacy and the improper targeting of U.S. citizens for exercising their constitutional rights without due process.”
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