On Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray admitted during his congressional testimony that the bureau actively works with businesses to collect Americans’ personal information.
As reported by the Daily Caller, Wray was answering a question from Congressman Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) about alleged pipe bombs that were found outside the headquarters of both the Republican National Committee (RNC) and Democratic National Committee (DNC) on January 6th, 2021. The conversation soon shifted to Bank of America, which worked directly with the FBI and other government agencies to hand over information on any and all customers who made transactions in the DC area on that day.
“George Hill, former FBI supervisor and intelligence analyst in the Boston field office, told us that the Bank of America, with no legal process, gave to the FBI gun purchase records with no geographical boundaries, for anybody that was a Bank of America customer,” Massie stated. “Is that true?”
“Well, what I do know is that the, a number of business community partners all the time, including financial institutions, share information with us about possible criminal activity,” Wray responded. “My understanding is that that’s fully lawful.”
When Massie again asked if Wray’s FBI directly “asked for that information,” Wray replied “in this specific incident that you’re asking about, my understanding is that that information was shared with field offices for information only.” But he once again defended this course of action as “a fully lawful process.”
Wray also refused to answer directly when Massie asked if a warrant was involved, and when Massie asked if Wray requested the information directly, he simply said “I can’t speak to the specifics.”
The reports that Bank of America directly colluded with the government to hand over Americans’ personal financial information, for the purpose of exposing conservatives and Trump supporters who were in D.C. on January 6th, has been widely criticized as overly authoritarian and a violation of privacy rights. Wray faced numerous questions on Wednesday about the FBI’s politicization and weaponization against conservatives and political opponents of the Biden Administration.