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Luetkemeyer Calls on DOJ Officials for Immediate Investigation into Operation Choke Point

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Washington, October 16, 2014 | comments
In an effort to keep pressure on the Department of Justice (DOJ) and to gain insight into Operation Choke Point, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) sent a letter to Michael Horowitz, DOJ Inspector General, and Robin Ashton, head of DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility, requesting an immediate investigation.
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In an effort to keep pressure on the Department of Justice (DOJ) and to gain insight into Operation Choke Point, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) sent a letter to Michael Horowitz, DOJ Inspector General, and Robin Ashton, head of DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility, requesting an immediate investigation.

Operation Choke Point is an operation in which the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and DOJ intimidate financial institutions from offering financial services to certain licensed, legally-operating industries the government doesn’t like it an attempt to choke off those industries from our country’s banking systems. These include the non-depository lending industry, ammunition and firearms sales; fireworks sales; tobacco sales; coin dealers; debt collectors; and pharmaceutical sales.

“This letter to the Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility from more than 30 Members of Congress is an attempt to launch an investigation into Operation Choke Point and the individuals charged with creating and carrying out this unprecedented initiative,” Luetkemeyer said. “There is no doubt in my mind that DOJ officials have abused their authority to address consumer fraud issues while misleading business owners by claiming financial institutions have not suffered any actual losses.”       

Earlier this year, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a report based on documentation provided by the DOJ that showed clear abuse of power, meriting formal investigations into the creation and governance of the special program. The powers granted to DOJ under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) were intended to address issues that pose substantial risk to financial institutions, not consumer fraud.

Last week, Luetkemeyer created a new platform for businesses those that want to share their story if they have been affected by Operation Choke Point. The email address is chokepointstory@mail.house.gov and allows businesses to share their story with confidentiality. To date, businesses from across the nation have shared their stories.

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