DOJ to End Operation Choke Point
Republican lawmakers say the Obama-era anti-fraud initiative was used to target gun retailers.
According to this story from Politico.com, the Justice Department is ending the controversial program leftover from the Obama administration that discourages banks from doing business with a wide range of companies, including gun retailers and many involved in the gun industry.
The operation, dubbed “Operation Choke Point” was theoretically intended to “root out fraud by banks and payment processors and to cut off the banking system from wrongdoing by merchants.” Many Republican lawmakers argued the anti-fraud initiative was used to target gun retailers and other businesses that Democrats found objectionable, according to this story from the Washington Examiner.
“We share your view that law abiding businesses should not be targeted simply for operating in an industry that a particular administration might disfavor,” says a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd, in which he referred to the operation as “a misguided initiative.”
“Enforcement decisions should always be made base don facts and the applicable law,” he added.
However, some believe the operation wasn’t a waste at all.
“Operation Choke Point has been incredibly effective at cracking down on the flow of money to fradulent merchants that violate the law and target vulnerable consumers,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress, in the story. He called Boyd’s letter “a massive giveaway to predatory payday lenders and other shady financial scam-artists.”