Thirty-three members of the House of Representatives have sent a letter to the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility requesting an investigation into Operation Choke Point.
Operation Choke Point was launched in 2013 and has targeted certain legally operating industries that have been deemed “high risk” by pressuring banks to deny financial services. The program has also targeted the tobacco business and as a consequence several IPCPR member retailers have said they have been impacted by this program and denied financial services.
The letter states: “After extensive research, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a report on May 29, 2014, based on documentation provided to the Committee by DOJ officials. The findings showed an egregious abuse of power that we believe merits your full attention and a formal investigation.” The letter also states, “Operation Choke Point is a blatant abuse of legal authority on the part of the DOJ.”
One of the members who signed the letter, Blake Luetkenmeyer (HR 4986) has proposed a bill that would amend what Operation Choke Point by not allowing regulators to target a businesses that: “is licensed and authorized to offer such product or service;‘‘(2) is registered as a money transmitting busi- ness under section 5330 of title 31, United States Code, or regulations promulgated under such section; or‘‘(3) has a reasoned legal opinion that dem- onstrates the legality of the entity’s business under applicable law.”
The list of members of the Hosue of Representatives who sent the letter include:
Blake Luetkemeyer, R-Oklahoma