by Bronson Winslow
Bank of America (BOA) worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate customers who made purchases with BOA credit and debit cards on and around Jan. 6, and pushed those who had made gun purchases to the top of the list, according to whistleblower testimony obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The whistleblower, George Hill, a retired FBI supervisory intelligence analyst, testified to the House Judiciary Committee In February that BOA gave the FBI’s Washington Field Office (WFO) a list of individuals who made transactions in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area between Jan. 5 and Jan. 7, saying the company did so of its own volition and without any known legal process, according to testimony made to the House Judiciary Committee in February. The list of individuals, later distributed to FBI field offices across the country, included BOA customers that purchased any product between those dates, while customers who had bought firearms were prioritized.
“The Bank of America, with no directive from the FBI, datamined its customer base,” Hill testified. “And they datamined a date range of 5 to 7 January of any BOA customer who used a BOA product. And by ‘BOA product’ I mean a debit card or a credit card. They compiled that list. And then, on the top of that list, they put anyone who had purchased a firearm during any date.”
Hill also alleged that agents in the Boston Field Office (BFO) were pressured by the WFO to open investigations into 140 people who had taken a bus ride to the Jan. 6 rally, according to Just the News. The agents refused to cooperate because there was no evidence of any criminal action.
Connections between the FBI and BOA were first alleged after Fox News host Tucker Carlson uncovered evidence that BOA was turning over personal information in February 2021. Carlson reported that BOA identified 211 people and turned that information over to investigators without the consent of the account holders.
“We don’t comment on our communications with law enforcement. All banks have responsibilities under federal law to cooperate with law enforcement inquiries in full compliance with the law,” BOA told Carlson at the time.
FBI #whistleblower George Hill describes how @BankofAmerica dropped a dime on its customers, inviting the @FBI to probe them simply for going to DC around Jan 6, 2021.https://t.co/mGkV2OLtLF
— Empower Oversight (@EMPOWR_us) February 11, 2023
“That’s just not a good reason to hand over private information. If that’s the way they do business now, then the people of this country really have something to worry about,” Bernard Kerik, a security consultant who headed the NYPD in 2000 and 2001, said in an interview with The New York Post.
Hill further testified that, to his knowledge, “using a debit card or a credit card in the District does not provide adequate predication for the investigation of a crime. So there was no legal process either asking for it or you know, from the Bureau or from DOJ or anybody.”
Any BOA customer who had ever bought a gun was pushed to the top of the list of people who were being investigated, according to Hill.
“You could live you could be a resident of Iowa, be a BOA customer, purchased a shotgun in 1999, go to the District, use your credit card to pay for a hotel on January 5th and check out. You’re going to rise to the top of that list” he said.
BOA and the FBI did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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Bronson Winslow is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Bank of America” by Billy Hathorn. CC BY-SA 3.0.