Tim Scott Blasts Biden Admin for 'Flagrant Violation' of Privacy for Searching Americans' Records for 'Trump' and 'MAGA'

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, wrote to the Biden administration on Friday, blasting them for their alleged “flagrant violation” of Americans’ privacy.

Scott wrote his letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Director Andrea Gacki about reports that the Treasury Department provided materials to financial institutions instructing them to search and filter Americans’ banking information using “politically charged terms” such as “Trump,” “MAGA,” and other words. This includes terms that would indicate the legal purchase of a firearm, the purchase of religious books, and subscriptions to media containing “extremist views.”

The South Carolina senator said that these allegations represent an improper targeting of Americans in a manner eerily similar to the Obama administration’s “Operation Choke Point:”

These allegations, if true, represent a flagrant violation of Americans’ privacy and the improper targeting of U.S. citizens for exercising their constitutional rights without due process. According to recent news reports, Treasury provided materials to financial institutions instructing them to search and filter Americans’ transaction-level financial data using specific keywords, search terms, and particular merchant category codes (MCC) to aid federal law enforcement in identifying persons of interest.  Further, these instructions allegedly recommended financial institutions search Zelle payment messages for politically charged terms, such as “Trump” and “MAGA,” as well as transactions that could indicate the legal purchase of a firearm, such as transactions with a MCC for “Sporting and Recreational Goods and Supplies.”

Federal government efforts to target individuals and entities based on their political views is a blatant and egregious violation of our Constitution. Additionally, reported actions like these disrupt confidence in federal law enforcement and raise significant questions regarding the independence of federal financial regulators.

House Judiciary Committee Jim Jordan (R-OH) has subpoenaed Bank of America after major banks shared Americans’ private banking information to the FBI without legal process in Washington, DC, around January 6, 2021.

The New York Times reported that Scott will endorse Trump at a rally in New Hampshire on Friday.

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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