0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Breitbart News has learned that in 2013 the Obama administration launched an under-the-radar project, 'Operation Choke Point,' which is designed to destroy three sectors of the private lending industry: third party payment processors ("TPPPs"), payday lenders, and online lenders. The operation is headed by political operatives and career bureaucrats at the Department of Justice, the FDIC, and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB"). It appears to be the latest example of the Obama administration's successful efforts to weaponize the apparatus of the federal government against people and industries it opposes ideologically.According to the Wall Street Journal, the federal initiative now known as 'Operation Choke Point' is an outgrowth of the President's Financial Fraud Task Force, established by President Obama by Executive Order in 2009. It also appears to have been kicked off in secret by the Department of Justice, FDIC, and the CFPB in early 2013 without the requisite statutory authority. Officials at the Department of Justice have withheld information about the program from Congress, though they have eagerly shared details with federal financial institution examiners authorized to supervise and discipline the nation's banks and related financial institutions.On August 22, thirty-one members of Congress sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg , requesting a briefing of Congressional staff members on the project, the details of which were so obscure they did not yet know it had obtained the status of a federal initiative and was called 'Operation Choke Point.'In the letter, which was organized by Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-KS) and Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), the members of Congress stated "[i t has come to our attention that the DOJ and the FDIC are leading a joint effort that according to a DOJ official is intended to 'change the structures within the financial system...choking [online short term lenders] off from the very air they need to survive.' ""We are especially troubled by reports that the DOJ and FDIC are intimidating some community banks and third party payment processors with threats of heightened regulatory scrutiny unless they cease doing business with online lenders," the letter read. "As a result, many bank and payment processors are terminating relationships with many of their long-term customers who provide underserved consumers with short-term credit options," it continued.
Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), Chairman of the Economic Growth Subcommittee, sent a harsh letter to Attorney General Holder Wednesday accusing the Department of Justice of abusing its power and intimidating banks through its "Operation Choke Point."In the letter, Issa and Jordan stated, "[t]he [House Oversight and Government Reform] Committee is concerned that both the goal and mechanisms of Operation Choke Point may constitute a serious mismanagement and abuse of the Department's FIRREA [Financial Institution Reform and Recovery Act of 1989] authority."Breitbart News broke the story Wednesday morning that the Obama administration launched 'Operation Choke Point' out of the Department of Justice in 2013 for the express purpose of destroying three key sectors of the private lending industry: third party payment processors ("TPPPs"), online lenders, and payday lenders.Issa and Jordan requested that the Department of Justice turn over to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee "[a]ll documents and communications since January 1, 2011 referring or relating to 'Operation Choke Point'" by January 22, 2014."There is evidence," they wrote, "that the true goal of Operation Choke Point is to target online lenders and the payment processors who serve them." They stated further, "[t]he extraordinary breadth of the Department's dragnet prompts concern that the true goal of Operation Choke Point is not to cut off actual fraudsters' access to the financial system, but rather to eliminate legal financial services to which the Department objects."Issa and Jordan also told Attorney General Holder in the letter, "[i t appears the Department has indiscriminately targeted an access point to the financial system that countless legitimate merchants rely upon simply because it is 'faster' than targeting the actual perpetrators of fraud." The Department of Justice, they wrote, is "needlessly punishing good actors with the bad, and threatening legitimate merchants."