GOP Going After Bank of America, FBI for Troubling Violation of Americans' Rights Related to Jan. 6.
The House Weaponization Committee shone a big bright light on a concerning action by Bank of America that should concern all Americans. Now, the House GOP is taking action.
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) said they would be investigating what they’d learned from whistleblower testimony — how Bank of America, without any legal process from the FBI, turned over to the FBI a list of all its customers who purchased anything within the neighborhood of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area between Jan. 5 and Jan. 7, 2021. That means they turned over the private information of thousands of Americans to the FBI—without any evidence that they were involved in a crime, and did it without even the FBI asking for it by way of subpoena.
🚨 Chairmen @Jim_Jordan and @RepThomasMassie launch investigation into Bank of America voluntarily sharing customers’ private financial data with the FBI.
Read the letter ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/dGVI6A49eQ
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) May 25, 2023
Retired FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst George Hill testified:
“The Bank of America, with no directive from the FBI, data-mined its customer base. And they data-mined a date range of 5 to 7 January [of 2021] any BOA customer who used a BOA product. And by ‘BOA product,’ I mean a debit card or a credit card. They compiled that list. And then, on top of that list, they put anyone who had purchased a firearm during any date. So it was a huge list. . . .”
Not only that, but if you were one of the thousands of people on that list who happened to make a purchase, and you ever bought a gun with a “Bank of America product” (translation: debit card or credit card) — underline “ever,” not just during that period or in the Washington, D.C., area — Hill confirmed you would get elevated to the top of the list for attention by the FBI.
Hill’s testimony was corroborated by his former supervisor, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Boston Field Office, Joseph Bonavolonta, according to the GOP letter.
The FBI was sent the names of individuals that were supposedly living up in the New England area, and who were on the list. Bonavolonta also confirmed that people on the list had been sent to other areas, including the Springfield, Illinois FBI field office.
This testimony is alarming. According to veteran FBI employees, BoA provided, without any legal process, private financial information of Americans to the most powerful law- enforcement entity in the country. This information appears to have had no individualized nexus to particularized criminal conduct, but was rather a data dump of BoA customers’ transactions over a three-day period. This information undoubtedly included private details about BoA customers who had nothing at all to do with the events of January 6. Even worse, BoA specifically provided information about Americans who exercised their Second Amendment right to purchase a firearm.
Rep. Massie pointed out during the FBI whistleblower testimony what a huge violation of the privacy of Americans this was.
NEWS: @RepThomasMassie SCORCHES Bank of America and FBI for targeting American gun owners
FBI: “We didn’t ask for the private information.”
MASSIE: “IT DOESN’T MATTER” <— exactly!#SassyWithMassie pic.twitter.com/QfbTzqDnxb
— Cliff Maloney (@CliffMaloneyJr) May 18, 2023
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) pointed out that this was one aspect of “victimization at scale” in what has been going on, in addition to what was being done to the whistleblowers.
Bank of America gave a list to the FBI of anyone who used BofA credit/debit cards in the DC area between Jan 5-7th, 2021 – regardless of whether they participated in the events of Jan. 6th. pic.twitter.com/C0zBA1AGmy
— Rep. Dan Bishop (@RepDanBishop) May 18, 2023
Bishop also pointed out how Democrats who like to talk about “victimization” were attacking and making victims of the whistleblowers, and didn’t seem to care about any of this victimization.
The House Judiciary Committee is now demanding all documents and information related to this from the Bank of America CEO.
We heard a lot of the abuses from the whistleblowers during that Weaponization hearing. We also saw how the FBI misused its 702 database surveillance tool more than 278,000 times including against Jan. 6 people, BLM, and even political donors. This puts an even finer point on it, that anyone at any time can have their rights violated like this, if this kind of thing isn’t stopped.