At a committee hearing, Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) said that Bank of America provided customers’ financial and transaction data to the FBI regardless of their involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.
In 2021, reports emerged that the Bank of America, the second largest bank in the country, provided the FBI with transactional and financial data without the consent or knowledge of customers.
The bank reviewed customer records to flag customers who were in DC between January 5 and January 6, those who booked a hotel or AirBnB in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area after the riot, those who purchased airline-related services around that time, and those who bought firearms around that time.
This amounts to widespread warrantless data collection on people that haven’t yet been a suspect in a crime.
The bank flagged 211 people but only one was interrogated by the FBI.
As Fox News reported at the time: “It’s not even clear that what Bank of America did is even legal. We spoke to a number of lawyers about this, and some of them told us that what Bank of America did might, in fact, not be legal and could in fact be challenged in court. One knowledgeable attorney pointed us to 12 U.S.C. 3403. That’s a federal law that allows banks to tip off the feds to any information that “may be relevant to a possible violation of any statute or regulation.”
At a House committee hearing earlier this week, Congressman Bishop said that Bank of America flagged people for the FBI who were not involved in the riot.
“The Bank of America turned over the credit card transactions, whether for an aircraft or lodging or the purchase of a cup of coffee for everyone who decided to be in Washington area, the Northern Virginia area,” said Bishop.
“There are victims all over the place. All of the people suffered when the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security got involved in censorship, with social media platforms, millions and millions of tweets and narratives being taken down, that is victimization at scale. It must be resolved.
“And the fact that those who profess to be most concerned about victimization of people by law enforcement in this country, join in the victimization of you. I think that’s the takeaway, at least for me, from this hearing.”