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Congressional Report on Operation Choke Point Reveal DOJ’s Abuse of Power

posted May 29, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today released documents implicating the Administration in deliberately abusing the power of its federal agencies, namely the Department of Justice and the FDIC. Internal communications obtained by the Committee attest to the involvement of high-level officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder.

Executive Director Thomas Bezas of the United States Consumer Coalition (USCC), which has led the fight against Operation Choke Point, released the following statement:

“Today’s report from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee corroborates what we have known all along: that high-level federal officials were aware of and complicit in efforts to target legal industries and bring down lawabiding businesses. The report attests that under Attorney General Eric Holder’s leadership, the DoJ has ‘radically and inappropriately expanded its own authority under FIREEA,’ the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, which allows for the Department to issue subpoenas. Emails between the Department and scrutinized banks show that negotiations with these banks involved ‘”specific bans [on] doing business” with whole categories of lawful financial services.’”

“The evidence that this campaign against lawful businesses was coordinated and deliberate is indisputable. Such an abuse of power has drastic effects on the consumers who regularly rely on these industries in their daily lives. USCC demands that the Administration stop Operation Choke Point immediately and hold those involved accountable for the damage this extra-legal project has wreaked on consumers and on the economy.”