Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio described revelations during a Wednesday hearing about the FBI acquiring private data as “pretty frightening stuff” during an interview.
FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday during a hearing titled “Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” During the hearing, he faced tough questions from Republicans on the committee over the targeting of parents protesting at school board meetings, the reported presence of FBI sources at the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol building and the conduct of the Aug. 8 raid on Mar-a-Lago. (RELATED: FBI Whistleblower Disputes Wray Testimony On School Boards)
“The big takeaway from today’s hearing is what the FBI is doing with Americans’ private data,” Jordan, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, told Fox business host Larry Kudlow. “I mean, there was a question asked of Director Wray by a Democrat and he said, ‘Are you purchasing data from Americans through a broker, private information, is the FBI buying that?’ and Director Wray said, ‘I’ll have to get back with you, give you an answer. I need to give you a briefing how that works.’”
Wray revealed during the hearing that the FBI worked with private businesses, including major banks in the United States to acquire information about American citizens who are not suspected of committing crimes.
“I’m like, you got to be kidding me,” Jordan continued. “And then you couple with what we brought forward, which is an email from the FBI to Bank of America, where the FBI asked Bank of America to provide customer debit and credit card activity in a certain geographic location for a specified time period, January 5th and 6th, 2021, here in the D.C. area, and then overlaid that with any purchase from these same customers you have you can give to the government, to the FBI, related to purchasing firearms or firearms-related material. That is pretty frightening stuff.”
The FBI has faced accusations that the agency has become politicized in cases involving pro-life advocates and parents protesting at school board meetings and was involved in censorship following reports based on documents released to journalist Matt Taibbi by Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter.
“We have done tons of depositions, transcribed interviews of people in the Justice Department. We had agents come in and tell us they took that material, they didn’t use it, they pulled it back from their system, they didn’t send the leads out, because they were concerned about this information that Bank of America turned over to the FBI,” Jordan told Kudlow. “But all this just underscores our main thrust of the hearing for Republicans, which is there is no way, no way that we are going to reauthorize section 702 of FISA in its current form, that’s where they illegally queried this database and got information on Americans. Again, without a warrant did this in an illegal fashion 204,000 times according to press reports in The New York Times.”
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