What if an agency of the federal government can snoop through your debit or credit card purchases without a warrant? Or what if a federal agency could similarly do a mass search for information on groups that consist of a wide swath of the U.S.A population? If that is allowed to stand, then the case can be made that no person or group’s rights are safe. Yet that is what a House Committee is currently probing, based on documents and evidence explored in the report by Joshua Arnold shown in Part I of this report and analysis.
While Joe Biden was pitched to voters in 2020 as moderate, it is now apparent that the Biden-Harris (D) Administration is perhaps the most-left leaning in U.S. history and they have repeatedly been accused of weaponizing various agencies in the federal government. The headline topics covered in the featured section of this report would appear to impact self-described conservatives more than liberals, progressives or leftists. But a closer look reveals that that few if any groups could be impacted by the stunning reach of what is being described by The Washington Stand’s Joshua Arnold as a stunningly unconstitutional breach of someone’s privacy. If some federal agency can ask for a search for something related to gun purchases, what is to keep them from searching for what drugs, alcohol, food, or entertainment you or others are engaged in? Meaning, this is not a left-right issue, it is a right or wrong issue, or legal and illegal issue.
The article by Arnold includes a linked letter from The Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. That Congressional subcommittee are conducting oversight of federal law enforcement in a letter dated 1.17.2024 says in part that they are “in receipt of information about American citizens [being probed or ‘spied on’] without legal process and its engagement with the private sector.” According to U.S. Facts: “At the end of 2022, with 2.87 million federal employees, 1.9% of US workers were employed by the federal government.” But as left-leaning Brookings reported in 5.27.2020: “Across the U.S., nearly 24 million people—a little over 15% of the workforce—are involved in military, public, and national service…” Either way, the vast majority of the population is employed in the private sector, retired, is not employed including those who are too young to have entered the workforce.
Arnold is one of The Washington Stand’s senior writer’s, who per their website and the Daily Signal covers mainstream news as well as other topics that may have a religious or Biblical connection.
The Family Research Council (FRC) website says Joshua Arnold “graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and a special emphasis in American Politics and Policy. He later attended the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy and graduated as valedictorian with a Master’s in Public Policy, emphasizing Economics and American Policy.”
Regarding the headline topic which will be the focus of the featured report in Part I below, Gallup reported in November 2020 that: “Thirty-two percent of U.S. adults say they personally own a gun, while a larger percentage, 44%, report living in a gun household.” Pew Research said on 9.13.2022 that: “But today, about two-thirds of adults are Christians.” Religious, 33% as Spiritual.” Meaning, 80 percent of the population identify with the type of groups that may ‘lean conservative,’ but in fact cut across all socio, economic, racial, gender, and economic groups.
At that time of the survey about gun owners cited above, per Gallup:
- Republicans (50%), rural residents (48%), men (45%), self-identified conservatives (45%) and Southerners (40%) are the most likely subgroups to say they personally own a gun.
- Liberals (15%), Democrats (18%), non-White Americans (18%), women (19%) and Eastern residents (21%) are the least likely to report personal gun ownership.
The Daily Signal has made the item in Part I available to MHProNews. Additional analysis and commentary will be provided in Part II. Part III is our macro-markets and manufactured housing connected equities Daily Business News on MHProNews business-daily update.
Feds, Banks Colluded to Snoop on Religious, Gun-Owning Americans Without Warrant
Joshua Arnold / January 24, 2024
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, “urged large financial institutions to comb through the private transactions of their customers for suspicious charges on the basis of protected political and religious expression,” according to a letter from Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, in his capacity as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
FinCEN is a branch of the Treasury Department tasked “to ferret out money laundering, illegal activities,” Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., said in an appearance on Family Research Center’s “Washington Watch.”
“But there’s a way to do that,” the Missouri Republican added. “It’s called a search warrant.”
“Following Jan. 6, 2021, FinCEN distributed materials to financial institutions that, among other things, outlined the ‘typologies’ of various persons of interest,” Jordan wrote. That guidance included certain “extremism indicators, ranging from the use of generic political terms like ‘Trump’ and ‘MAGA’ to vague yet invasive categories such as “transportation charges … for travel to areas with no apparent purpose.”
One noteworthy red flag was “the purchase of books (including religious texts) and subscriptions to other media containing extremist views.”
Given the context, “extremist views” here should mean those that incite violence or otherwise encourage acts of domestic terrorism, such as pro-ISIS mullahs encouraging lone wolf-style terrorist attacks in the U.S. However, subsequent misbehavior by the Biden administration raises the possibility that more mainstream religions also were considered “extremist.”
Documents obtained by Jordan’s weaponization subcommittee indicate that FBI field offices from coast to coast were involved in drafting a memo targeting “radical, traditional” Catholics as a potential source of domestic extremism, and the FBI recruited at least one undercover agent to spy on the religious group.
In designating this group as extremist, the FBI memo relied on a rating by the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC, which also classifies other mainstream, religious organizations, including Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom, as extremist for holding to a biblical view of marriage, sexuality, and family.
The U.S. Supreme Court also was labeled “extremist” by the Biden administration’s congressional allies after its June 2022 decision to overturn its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade and return abortion policy to the hands of the people’s elected representatives. By this standard, any book or media that affirms the innate value of every human life would be classified as extreme—and that includes the Bible.
“If you’re looking for someone who bought religious text, or [something that] is related in some way to a ‘MAGA Republican’ or ‘Trump,’ is that not profiling?” asked Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.
Jordan directed his letter to Noah Bishoff, the “former director of the Office of Stakeholder Integration and Engagement in the Strategic Operations Division of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network,” who now works as the anti-money laundering compliance officer for the digital finance company Plaid.
Jordan’s letter asked Bishoff to sit for a transcribed interview with the subcommittee, presumably to answer questions relating to this apparent spying on constitutionally protected religious behavior, political activity, and even private travel.
FinCEN also distributed documents prepared by Ohio-based Key Bank that explained how other banks could more easily detect gun purchases by “potential active shooters.” This absurd phrase—a “potential” shooter is, by definition, not “active”—seemingly indicates horrific wishful thinking on the part of the person(s) who coined it.
In any event, the term seems to stand for nothing more than “people with whom I disagree politically, and who also own guns,” unless the second clause repeats the first.
“Despite these transactions having no apparent criminal nexus—and, in fact, relate to Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights—FinCEN seems to have adopted a characterization of these Americans as potential threat actors,” Jordan argues in his letter.
Jordan directed a second letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, asking for a transcribed interview with Peter Sullivan, the FBI’s senior private sector partner for outreach in the Strategic Partner Engagement Section. Sullivan’s office issued a report, “Domestic Violent Extremists Likely Emboldened in Aftermath of Capitol Breach,” which Jordan said “broadly characterized certain political beliefs as indicative of domestic violent extremism” and also was “shared with financial institutions.”
In that report, the FBI’s Private Sector Office listed “increased socio-political pressures” surrounding “firearm legislation, the easing of immigration restrictions,” and “discontent with renewed measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19” as factors that could mobilize “criminal actors and DVEs [domestic violent extremists] to violence.”
Jordan criticized the FBI report’s “sweeping characterization of political beliefs and constitutionally protected speech as indicators of domestic violent extremism.” That, combined with FinCEN’s warrantless collusion with banks, he said, “raises serious doubts about FinCEN’s respect for fundamental civil liberties.”
The House’s weaponization subcommittee previously discovered evidence that “the Bank of America (BoA) provided the FBI—voluntarily and without any legal process—with a list of individuals who made transactions in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area using a BoA credit or debit card between Jan. 5 and Jan. 7, 2021,” Jordan’s letter states.
Instead of discouraging this improper behavior, the FBI appeared eager to collude with the bank.
“FBI personnel, including Mr. Sullivan, made contact with and provided BoA with specific search query terms,” Jordan wrote.
The FBI told Bank of America that it was “interested in all financial relationships”—not just the ones for which it could obtain a search warrant—and especially in any account holders “who had made ‘ANY historical purchase’ of a firearm, or who had purchased a hotel, Airbnb, or airline travel within a given date range,” according to Jordan’s letter.
The level of collusion between federal justice officials and private corporations recalls the previously exposed collusion between federal officials and social media companies to censor the expression of disfavored political opinions.
That collusion was so gross that even liberal journalists were shocked, and a federal judge has forbidden the Biden administration from contacting social media platforms to discuss protected free speech. Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, a Republican, called it “the worst First Amendment violation in this nation’s history.”
Now, it appears that FinCEN attempted to prove him wrong. The FBI had to know the impropriety of collecting this information on Bank of America customers without a warrant.
“When that list was later brought to the attention of Steve Jensen, the FBI’s then-section chief of the Domestic Terrorism Operations Section,” Jordan wrote, “he acted to ‘pull’ the BoA information from FBI systems because ‘the leads lacked allegations of federal criminal conduct.’”
Luetkemeyer described the Biden administration’s weaponization of financial services as “a new version” of the Obama-era “Operation Choke Point,” something the Missouri Republican worked to stop as a member of the House Financial Services Committee.
“Regulators would go in and intimidate bankers by saying, ‘If you don’t do this, we’ll come in, and we’ll audit you again next week.’ So they intimidated the banks into cutting off financial services to some folks that the regulators had a personal bias against,” Luetkemeyer said. “With the Biden administration, they’ve come in and done this all over again.”
Luetkemeyer added that FinCEN’s activities demonstrate a “bias toward conservatives, a bias toward people who disagree with the administration, a bias [toward] anybody who is a supporter of Trump.”
“What FinCEN is doing right now is just automatically throwing out there, with a blanket, these words and these actions that they want [monitored],” Luetkemeyer said, “with … minimal, if any, jurisdiction whatsoever, no authority whatsoever. If I was a banker today, I would tell them, ‘Go get a search warrant.’”
An April 2022 court filing unsealed last year revealed that the FBI improperly conducted warrantless searches against more than 278,000 U.S. citizens in 2021.
FinCEN is not the only division of the Treasury Department with a reputation for one-sided targeting of conservatives. The Internal Revenue Service, to which congressional Democrats recently gave even more power, targeted conservative groups so aggressively during the Obama administration that The Washington Post was forced to acknowledge it. (Meanwhile, IRS whistleblowers had to shame DOJ officials into filing felony tax evasion charges against the president’s son.)
Last year, 40 House Democrats urged the IRS to resume its practice of targeting conservative groups, specifically calling out Family Research Council for being an organization committed to biblical principles (although likely the unstated reason was FRC’s track record of making a difference).
“It is time we extinguish all bigoted beliefs,” one signer demanded in a video endorsing SPLC’s hate map.
If the FBI’s and FinCEN’s collusion with banks is any indication, the Left plan to “extinguish all bigoted beliefs” involves extinguishing one constitutionally guaranteed freedom at a time.
Originally published by The Washington Stand
The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation. ##
Part II – Additional Information with More MHProNews Analysis and Commentary
Odds are good that if you are working in a profession connected with affordable housing in general, or manufactured housing more specifically, that you are and/or know someone who falls into several of the categories listed in Part I of this report. Because political and social winds historically shift, what would happen if the current Republican front-runner Donald Trump – who Joe Biden recently said is obviously going to be that party’s nominee for the 2024 presidential contest – kept these policies but used them to target Democrats, socialists, Marxists, or members of groups on the left? The U.S. Constitution limits or forbids certain behaviors by government precisely to keep any group in control of the federal government from becoming oppressive.
MHProNews recently reported on the new FinCen requirement for reporting by businesses, shown in the link below. That report below was published 5 days prior to the letter that Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-R), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee issued its letter that Arnold’s report via The Washington Stand and the Daily Signal referenced above.
As noted in the preface, while this particular episode of ‘weaponization’ of government appears to be more geared towards those on the right, who are often Trump supporters, Republican, hold a biblical worldview, are a gun owner, etc. the ‘shoe on the other foot’ test advocated by Democratic civil and constitutional rights attorney Allen Dershowitz arguably should be applied. If businesses, investors, investors, or retirees that may hold to one or more of the viewpoints are potential targets of this kind of purported Biden-Harris administration breaches of the U.S. Constitution, if normalized and accepted, then what is to keep the next Republican administration from simply reversing the process?
If people’s private property, free speech, and privacy rights are being violated, then in what sense are we still a free and independent people? Keep in mind that the so-called “Biden regime” has not only targeted conservatives and Republican, but has also targeted longtime or lifelong Democrats, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who bolted the Democratic primary because of what he alleged was a system rigged to favor Biden. Kennedy objected to some of the Biden regime’s interference in free speech rights, and the Democrat found himself targeted by other Democrats.
What has demonstrably been steadily rising in the U.S. during the 21st century has been an increased abuse of federal powers.
- Unconstitutional abuses of federal power arguably occurred during the George W. Bush-Richard “Dick” Cheney Administration (R). The so-called Patriot Act was and has been abused as has other federal powers.
- Unconstitutional abuses of federal power arguably occurred during the Obama-Biden Administration (D), despite Obama campaigning against it. Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and employee Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the mass surveillance of citizens during the Obama-Biden years, which continued practices that were occurring during the Bush-Cheney years. As left-leaning Wikipedia said: “Edward Joseph Snowden is an American and naturalized Russian citizen who was a computer intelligence consultant and whistleblower who leaked highly classified information from the National Security Agency in 2013 when he was an employee and subcontractor. His disclosures revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and the Five Eyes intelligence alliance with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments and prompted a cultural discussion about national security and individual privacy.” Left-leaning CNN said that: “Edward Snowden says he would like to return to the US if he is guaranteed a fair trial.”
- A weaponization of federal powers occurred during the Trump-Biden Administration (R), but it apparently may have occurred in a manner that actually undermined the duly elected president. Trump ran in 2015-2016 in part to ‘drain the swamp,’ and that ‘Washington D.C. swamp’ struck back. Since political cartoonist Ben Garrison created this cartoon below the federal deficit mushroomed from 20 trillion to 34 trillion dollars, but much of the points he raised still apply. Note how Garrison tied the CIA and NSA with Google? As ex-CBS’ Jim Edwards said, Facebook, Google and the government spy agencies are “old friends.”
- There have been numerous examples of what Congressman Jim Jordan’s subcommittee has called “the weaponization of government” during the Biden-Harris term in office. That is not just an evidence-based allegations made by Republicans. As remarks and linked reports reflect, the weaponization of government is an allegation made by Democrats and former Democrats too.
It is laughable to think or say that federal agencies, in apparent collusion with some aspects of Big Tech, and Big Media haven’t been interfering with elections for years. It is now so apparent that even numbers of Democrats and independence are uncomfortable with how Trump has been treated.
The effort to keep Trump off the ballot in several states, and the array of questionable or fallacious charges against Trump has not kept tens of millions from supporting him again in 2024. That said, it is still an obviously gross kind of third-world or near-dictatorial state political tactic to remove or charge an opposition candidate. To keep the opposition from having a fair chance in an election is the obvious of democracy.
As a relevant disclosure, MHProNews is managed by political independents. We are managed and owned by the son of a legal immigrant and a naturalized citizen who came to the U.S. legally. We represent some ethnic minority backgrounds in the U.S. This writer as the son of parents who had the Nazi (National Socialist German Workers Party = NAZI, a ‘fascist’ party) experience and who lived in the shadow of the communists old Soviet Union heard the stories of the horrors of a loss of liberty. We should not allow that to occur in our country.
Communist China is arguably a fascist country, not just a communist country. If the corporate powers – in collusion with big business and big media – are allowed to take open, vs. stealthy, control of every aspect of our society, then the last “Shadows of Liberty” will no longer be shadows. Liberty will be gone. When a talking head at CNBC is remarking how surreal it is to see capitalists applauding the Communist leader of China that should be a wakeup call.
Propaganda is powerful. Paltering and projection are slippery and often effective. That is why they are used.
The good news is that some 70 percent of the country recognize that the nation is on the wrong track.
The good news is that some 70 percent of the country recognize that the ‘system is rigged’ (see the above) in favor of the wealthy and politically connected.
On 9.8.2023 the left-leaning Washington Post said: “Rasmussen has a poll: 81 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 44 percent of Democrats think the election was stolen from Trump1.” The article discusses the public opinion on the 2020 presidential election. According to the article, the majority of Americans believe that the election was conducted fairly and that the results were accurate1. However, the poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports and The Heartland Institute suggests that a significant percentage of mail-in voters admitted to practices that were likely or definitely fraudulent during the 2020 election2.”
For longtime readers of MHProNews that’s not ‘news’ in a sense because we provided evidence that raised the questions about the validity of the vote in key swing states.
Republican voters rejected the candidacy of former Trump Vice President Michael “Mike” Pence, no doubt due in part to his failure to support the investigation of the various claims of election fraud by returning the questioned state results back to the states where they originated. That was an entirely reasonable request. While the riot on 1.6.2021 was wrong, the process that the riot interrupted was lawful.
Trump, as is true of any candidate, has his shortcomings. But the very fact that the donor class wanted him out in 2020 and is fighting to keep him out in 2024 ought to be a recognition that he represents a serious concern for the U.S. ruling class.
Many if not most Democratic politicos, and numbers of so-called RINO Republicans, have been exposed as being in the pockets of the donor class or “establishment.” Who says? Voices across the left-center-right divide.
Inflation has in several ways benefited the U.S. ruling class and has harmed the vast majority of the balance of American society. But inflation was predictable, as then Democratic Majority Whip James Clyburn (SC-D) said on left-leaning MSNBC.
U.S. housing and manufactured housing has suffered, despite the talk by the Biden regime of a plan to supposedly close the housing gap.
The U.S. has faced somewhat similar woes where the wealthy and their ownership or other influence of the media in their era to dominate society and the narrative gave them an ability to control much of the system in the past. The U.S. has previously recovered. That means it could recover again.
But this increasingly apparent nexus between big government and big business ought not be ignored. People can ignore reality but we can’t ignore the impact of reality.
The Chairman Jordan letter cited by the Daily Signal/Washington Stand article by Joshua Arnold said: “The Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of
the Federal Government are conducting oversight of federal law enforcement’s receipt of information about American citizens without legal process and its engagement with the private sector.” “The Committee and Select Subcommittee have obtained documents indicating that following January 6, 2021, FinCEN distributed materials to financial institutions that, among other things, outline the “typologies” of various persons of interest and provide financial institutions with suggested search terms and Merchant Category Codes (MCCs) for identifying transactions on behalf of federal law enforcement.” Jordan’s letter also said: “…federal law enforcement’s mass accumulation and use of Americans’ private information without legal process; FinCEN’s protocols, if any, to safeguard Americans’ privacy and constitutional rights in the receipt and use of such information; and FinCEN’s general engagement with the private sector on law-enforcement matters.” That fits the definition of mass surveillance of “spying” on citizens without a warrant or without due cause. The full letter by Jordan requesting testimony on these issues is linked here. MHProNews plans to continue to monitor such issues and report as deemed warranted. ##
Part III – is our Daily Business News on MHProNews stock market recap which features our business-daily at-a-glance update of over 2 dozen manufactured housing industry stocks.
This segment of the Daily Business News on MHProNews is the recap of yesterday evening’s market report, so that investors can see at glance the type of topics may have influenced other investors. Thus, our format includes our signature left (CNN Business) and right (Newsmax) ‘market moving’ headlines.
The macro market move graphics below provide context and comparisons for those invested in or tracking manufactured housing connected equities. Meaning, you can see ‘at a glance’ how manufactured housing connected firms do compared to other segments of the broader equities market.
In minutes a day readers can get a good sense of significant or major events while keeping up with the trends that are impacting manufactured housing connected investing.
Reminder: several of the graphics on MHProNews can be opened into a larger size. For instance: click the image and follow the prompts in your browser or device to OPEN In a New Window. Then, in several browsers/devices you can click the image and increase the size. Use the ‘x out’ (close window) escape or back key to return.
Headlines from left-of-center CNN Business – from 1.25.2024
- Apple announces sweeping changes for apps in Europe, including allowing third-party app stores for the first time
- Explicit, AI-generated Taylor Swift images spread quickly on social media
- The 737 Max grounding will cost Alaska Airlines $150 million
- Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024.
- Extreme greed is back on Wall Street
- Many parents say they are still financially subsidizing their adult children
- Tesla electric vehicles sit outside a showroom in Shanghai, China in October 2022.
- Tesla shares plunge to wipe out $73 billion in market value, after dour earnings call
- Business Insider’s logo is seen on a phone screen in 2020.
- Business Insider cuts 8% of staff, becoming latest news outlet to undergo layoffs
- A man walks through the Cornell University campus on November 3, 2023 in Ithaca, New York.
- Cornell donor demands president step down, citing ‘toxic’ diversity policies
- Shopper browse clothes at the Polaris Fashion Place mall on Black Friday in Columbus, Ohio, on November 24, 2023.
- US economy grew at a shocking pace in the fourth quarter
- Investigation involving Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 on a Boeing 737-9 MAX in Portland, Oregon.
- Before part of an Alaska Airlines plane blew off, Boeing had removed and adjusted it, reports say
- Robert Kraft is buying a Super Bowl ad to highlight the rise of antisemitism
- Crypto fans got what they wanted. So why is bitcoin falling?
- Jon Stewart’s return to ‘The Daily Show’ could shake up 2024 politics
- 5 huge challenges facing Apple this year
- Elon Musk says Chinese electric car brands could ‘demolish’ rivals as Tesla earnings fall
- Sri Lanka passes controversial bill to regulate online content
- China takes delivery of Boeing 737 Max in show of support for troubled plane maker
- FAA approves a path for Boeing 737 Max 9s to return to operations
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise reveals hack by Russian state actor
- In blow to Fox Corp., judge rules Smartmatic case over 2020 election lies can proceed
- Amazon’s Ring to shutter video-sharing program popular with police
- Wall Street firm hit by cyberattack that has knocked systems offline
- Peacock’s exclusive NFL playoff game drove ‘biggest subscriber acquisition moment ever measured,’ analytics firm says