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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Court Docs: Obama Admin Targeting of Businesses Ran to Top of FDIC

    Court Docs: Obama Admin Targeting of Businesses Ran to Top of FDIC

    New filing sheds light on murky Operation Choke Point
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    BY: Charles Fain Lehman
    October 21, 2018 5:00 am

    New court filings document the extent to which the Obama administration used government power to target disfavored industries, and subsequently sought to avoid responsibility for its targeting program.

    The new information comes from a motion for summary judgement filed in federal court by the plaintiffs in Advance America et al. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. et al.

    Advance America, a payday lender, was one of the firms targeted by Operation Choke Point. The company contends—and the documents it filed show—that the FDIC was consciously working to target a totally legal industry, and also at a number of points to deny its involvement in the same work.

    Choke Point was an initiative under which the Obama administration tried to shut down disfavored industries by removing their access to payment processing and other banking services, thereby cutting off their financial "oxygen." They did so by applying pressure to third-party banks through the FDIC and other federal financial regulators. Targeted businesses were almost all entirely legal, and included ammunition sales, online gambling, and payday loans.

    The FDIC has repeatedly denied that it specifically targeted payday lenders. FDIC chairman Martin Gruenberg told Congress in written testimony that targeting payday lenders was "not consistent with our policy," and claimed that the corporation had taken "a number of significant steps" to discourage targeting firms that were otherwise operating within the law.

    However, the new court filings tell a completely different story.

    They go back to late 2010 and early 2011 when, according to a deposition from Chicago Regional FDIC Director Anthony Lowe, the FDIC's leadership in D.C. informed regional chiefs that "if a bank was found to be involved in payday lending, someone was going to be fired." This directive made clear to Lowe and his colleagues that they should exercise their power to make sure that payday lenders could not get access to banks.

    This effort was clearly in line with the priority of the highest levels of authority at the FDIC. Gruenberg told colleague and Director of the Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection Mark Pearce that "we should discuss" a New York Times article about payday lending and banking in an email. Another email shows that Gruenberg also met personally with a senior bank official to push the bank to withdraw from its involvement with payday lending.

    The targeting of payday lenders flowed out of Washington and to the various regional directors. Atlanta Regional Director Thomas Dujenski, who was deposed for the lawsuit, wrote in an email released by Advance America that he "literally can not stand pay day lending. They are abusive, fundamentally wrong, hurt people, and do not deserve to be in any way associated with banking." He would later tell employees that "any banks even remotely involved in payday [lending] should be promptly brought to my attention."

    Dujenski's specific focus on choking off payday lenders was clearly of interest to top brass. In one email, he reported to FDIC director Mark Pearce that "I think you will be pleased" because a bank had stopped permitting payday loan providers to use its payment processing service.

    "Now that is something to celebrate on Thanksgiving! ," Dujenski wrote.

    FDIC headquarters were also clearly involved in pressuring an Atlanta regional bank to withdraw its relationship to payday lenders. In November of 2011, a headquarters official learned from a colleague at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that an Atlanta-area bank "appears to have a relationship" with one or more payday lenders.

    Headquarters quickly organized regional directors, and the next month seven of them (including Dujenski) met with the chairman of the bank. According to the bank chairman's deposition, Dujenski claimed that he was involved in "dirty business," and threatened to refer him personally to the Department of Justice for prosecution.

    Notably, once Dujenski and his colleagues had their meeting, he made efforts to ensure that the bank withdrawing its connection to payday lenders was presented as purely a business decision, writing in an email to a colleague that "i hope he relays it is the banks decision," rather than a function of the FDIC's priorities, a framing which comports with Gruenberg's repeated denials that the FDIC explicitly targeted payday lenders.

    Choke Point was terminated in August of 2017 by Attorney General Jeff Sessions just a few months after he took office. Sessions then labeled it a "misguided initiative" motivated by "political preferences," rather than by a respect for the rule of law.

    "The Obama administration created this ill-advised program to suffocate legitimate businesses to which it was ideologically opposed by intimidating financial institutions into denying banking services to those businesses," wrote House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) in a letter cheering the change. "This is no way for law enforcement to operate and runs counter to principles enshrined in our Constitution."

    While Choke Point may have officially ended, Advance America claims that the culture it created is still present at the FDIC. Notably, Gruenberg not only remains on the FDIC's board of directors, but is reportedly at the top of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's (N.Y.) list to become vice chairman of the corporation. As of press time, Schumer did not respond to questions as to whether or not he was aware of Advance America's documents, and if he still supported Gruenberg for vice chairman.
    https://freebeacon.com/politics/cour...-ran-top-fdic/

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Airbornesapper07's Avatar
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    Documents related to Obama-era “Operation Choke Point” show government was extorting lawful businesses like mafia mobsters

    (Natural News) Court documents unsealed earlier this month provide ample evidence that the Obama administration’s “Operation Choke Point” program pressured financial institutions into cutting ties with lawful businesses, including gun dealers, in ways the Mafia could only dream of getting away with. According to a news release from the … [Read More...]

    Sunday, October 28, 2018 by: JD Heyes
    Tags: barack obama, Blaine Leutkemeyer, Congress, corruption, deep state, FDIC, firearms industry, gun control agenda, guns, Justice Department, left cult, Liberty, Mike Lee, Obama Administration, Operation Choke Point, payday lender, Second Amendment, Ted Cruz, traitors, Trump administration, weaponized government

    380 Views

    (Natural News) Court documents unsealed earlier this month provide ample evidence that the Obama administration’s “Operation Choke Point” program pressured financial institutions into cutting ties with lawful businesses, including gun dealers, in ways the Mafia could only dream of getting away with.

    According to a news release from the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA), “top government officials and federal agencies” worked to push banks and other lending institutions into financially punishing businesses and industries the Obama White House opposed on political grounds.
    “More than 100 records expose depositions and damaging emails of government officials, most notably at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), who executed a secretive campaign against lawful businesses it disfavored while ignoring due process and subverting the legal and regulatory process,” the CFSA news release reported.
    The association noted that the “illegal campaign” involved, among other tactics, threats from senior government agencies and officials that financial institution staff could be fired or even subjected to criminal prosecution if they didn’t comply with the Obama regime’s ‘recommendations.’
    The documents show that the operation was implemented at the highest levels of the FDIC and was carried out “ruthlessly and enthusiastically” by field operatives, the news release said.
    “These documents reveal a shocking abuse of power and conspiracy to single out an industry and bring it to its knees, something far away from a regulatory agency’s requirement to proceed according to the rule of law and due process,” said Dennis Shaul, CEO of the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA).
    “Despite hearing statements to the contrary from government officials for years, these records prove that there was an intentional and targeted campaign to carry out an illegal policy. If personal preference and subjectivity is the guide for regulation, an awful precedent is set and there is no end to the interests that can be targeted – pro-choice groups, environmental causes, religious groups and many more,” Shaul added.
    The real objective was gun control

    In April 2016, Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, introduced legislation aimed at eradicating Operation Choke Point,” which was run by the Justice Department, BigGovernment.news reported.
    The bill, called the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, would have banned federal agencies that regulate banks from requesting or instructing them to terminate customer accounts “unless the regulator has material reason.”
    In particular, Operation Choke Point sought to ‘investigate’ banks that did business with gun dealers, payday lenders, pawn shops, and other industries and firms the Obama DoJ claimed were engaged in illegal practices such as fraud and money-laundering.
    The Trump Justice Department announced in August 2017 it would be ending the program. At the time, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., called it “a misguided initiative” in a letter to then-Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd. (Related: Trump Justice Department ends “Operation Choke Point,” a program the Obama White House used to shut down gun shops.)
    “We share your view that law-abiding businesses should not be targeted simply for operating in an industry that a particular administration might disfavor,” the letter said, according to Politico. “Enforcement decisions should always be made based on facts and the applicable law.”
    Backers of Operation Choke Point claimed that it was a legitimate effort designed to ensure compliance with the law, but the recently released court documents indicate that the program was hurting businesses for no good reason.
    Court documents revealed, among other things, that “payday lending” was, early on, the principal industry being targeted by the FDIC and the Justice Department. But firearms dealers were soon targeted as well.
    Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., an early opponent of Operation Choke Point, said in response to the Lee-Cruz bill that since the program began, several firearms dealers, pawn shops and short-term lenders had reported having their bank accounts shut down.
    He told The Daily Signal that the legislation “confirms that Americans, all across the country, are speaking up after having been affected by Operation Choke Point.”

    video at the page link

    Read more about the Left’s attacks on the gun industry at Guns.news.

    Sources include:
    NewsTarget.com
    DailySignal.com
    CFSA.com



    https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-10-...usinesses.html
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