Hagerty Grills Treasury Secretary Yellen for Targeting Trump Supporters, Bible Owners

February 8, 2024

Treasury Department reportedly directed banks to surveil Americans’ transactions for “extremist indicators” including “Trump,” “MAGA,” and Bible purchases

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, today in a hearing grilled Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about the Biden Administration’s targeting of Republicans that they label as “extremists.” According to a document made public last month, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)—a bureau within the Treasury Department—reportedly directed financial institutions to surveil Americans’ transactions for “extremist indicators” including support of President Trump and purchases of religious books.

“If you think about last month’s revelation that FinCEN—that’s a bureau that’s under your watch—directed financial institutions to flag customers who demonstrated ‘extremist indicators,’ like the words ‘Trump,’ or ‘MAGA,’ or whether they made transactions to purchase religious books,” Hagerty said. “This time it’s not just an IRS contractor doing it; this is the Administration itself taking personal data to target its political foes.”

“Secretary Yellen, do you believe that people that purchase Bibles are extremists?” Hagerty asked.

Yellen attempted to defend FinCEN’s actions by saying that “FinCEN’s mission is to safeguard the financial system from illicit use to combat money laundering terrorist finance.”

“Not to target Americans for purchasing Bibles or voting for Donald Trump?” Hagerty asked.

Yellen tried to justify the targeting of Republicans by claiming “there were efforts to work with financial institutions to determine what had happened and to work with them to provide relevant information.”

“Purchasing a Bible is relevant information to determine if these people are extremists? It’s ridiculous. It’s a shame,” Hagerty concluded.

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