Democrats Are Checking Your Purchase History

Written by Jack Elbaum

What’s happening: As a part of an investigation into the January 6 Capitol riot, federal investigators asked banks to monitor consumer purchases based on political and religious views, raising questions about the scope of government surveillance.

  • Important: The monitoring directive was issued a few days before President Joe Biden’s inauguration, during the Trump administration. However, emails among federal employees say it was part of counterterrorism efforts for “Inauguration Day and beyond.”

  • Also: The information was first revealed in a private House Judiciary Committee letter, later obtained by Fox News.

The details: Investigators asked banks to filter transactions that included terms such as “MAGA” and “Trump.” Additionally, transactions that took place at Dick’s Sporting Goods and Bass Pro Shop were flagged, as were transactions of books/religious texts that the Feds allege contain “extremist views.”

  • Unchecked? There were no specific limitations or time frames given to the banks regarding combing through consumers’ transactions using those criteria.

The issue: U.S. Congressman Jim Jordan propounds that investigators may have been using “protected political and religious expression” as a basis for determining who they considered suspicious.

  • The other side: The Feds were not targeting individuals. Rather, they were filtering through large amounts of general data to find potential individuals of interest.

Why it matters: Trust in the federal government is diminished when relatively mainstream political views are considered sufficient reason for investigating ordinary citizens. This is doubly true when such investigations are targeted toward one side.