US Treasury Under Fire for Secret Bank Transaction Surveillance

Accusations and Investigations

The US Treasury Department is facing accusations of spying on Americans’ bank transactions in collaboration with financial institutions. A House Judiciary Committee memo alleges that the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) requested banks to monitor customers’ transactions and flag certain keywords without legal authorization.

Yellen’s Testimony

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen confirmed that FinCEN had communications with banks, including suggestions for search terms such as “MAGA” and “Trump.” She stated that the surveillance was conducted after the January 6th Capitol Hill riot to identify potential perpetrators.

No Warrants or Charges

Ohio Republican and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan claims that the searches were conducted without warrants or charges against specific individuals. He accuses the FBI and FinCEN of using banks for “fishing expeditions” without any connection to criminal activity.

Participating Institutions

Thirteen financial institutions reportedly assisted the Treasury in the search, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo.

Concerns and Implications

The accusations have raised concerns about government overreach and the potential for abuse of power. Critics argue that the surveillance violates Americans’ privacy rights and could be used for political targeting. The Treasury Department has not yet fully addressed these concerns.