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Video: Federal law enforcement used ‘secret portal’ to have banks flag ‘Trump,’ ‘MAGA’ purchases

U.S. Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio speaking at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
March 08, 2024

A new report by House Republicans shows that federal law enforcement agencies used a “secret portal” to pressure big banks and financial companies to flag “domestic violent extremists” by searching American purchases with keywords such as “MAGA,” “Trump,” and “religious texts.”

The House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government released a report Wednesday that claims federal law enforcement “treated lawful transactions as suspicious and shared information with financial institutions through backdoor channels, often circulating materials exhibiting a clear animus towards conservative viewpoints.”

The report claims that an online “portal” organized by the Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC), which is led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), allowed federal law enforcement agencies to provide more than 650 banks and financial companies with guidance for identifying “extremists.”

READ MORE: Video/Pics: Bomb threat targets Trump supporters: Report

According to the report, one example of federal guidance to financial institutions was labeled “Domestic Violent Extremists Likely Emboldened in Aftermath of Capitol Breach.” The report claims that the intelligence recommendation was intended to have financial institutions flag U.S. Citizens who “expressed opposition to firearm regulations, open borders, COVID-19 lockdowns, vaccine mandates, and the ‘deep state.'”

The committee’s report noted that federal law enforcement agencies used similar reports to “commandeer financial institutions’ databases” and encourage financial companies to “conduct sweeping searches” of Americans who were “not suspected of committing any crimes.”

Highlighting the potential danger of the federal government’s “secret portal,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said, “Never forget: the federal government got this information without any process, no warrant, and frankly, no notification. The bank didn’t tell the customer that, hey, we’re handing this information over to the FBI, the most powerful law enforcement agency in the world.”

Jordan added, “Big government shouldn’t be working with big banks to target Americans for behavior that is legal and constitutional.”

Pointing to a specific example, Jordan explained that FBI officials requested Bank of America provide the agency with the financial information of Americans with a “historical purchase” of a firearm who made transactions in the Washington, D.C. region between January 5 and 6.

Jordan told Fox News that the report by the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government “shows that the surveillance of Americans’ private financial data was broad, unjustified, and jeopardized fundamental civil liberties.”