Tag Archives: the Obama Administration

Lawmakers Demand Answers From Obama Administration on ‘Operation Choke Point’

What is Operation Check Point? It is very simple, you own a gun store or some other business that Democrats don’t like, so the Obama Administration pressures (read threaten) banks and credit card companies to stop doing business with you.

This is yet another assault on not just freedom of commerce, but freedom of conscience and association as well which is guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Via The Daily Signal:

Thirty members of Congress demanded today that the Department of Justice launch an “immediate investigation” into the agency’s own Operation Choke Point and those involved in creating and implementing the initiative against enterprises that are out of favor with the Obama administration.

Led by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., the 30 lawmakers sent a letter to Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department’s inspector general, and Robin Ashton, head of its Office of Professional Responsibility, calling Choke Point a “blatant abuse of legal authority.”

>>> Meet Four Business Owners Squeezed by Operation Choke Point

“This situation merits your full and immediate attention, and we request that you launch a comprehensive investigation on Operation Choke Point and the individuals charged with creating and carrying out this unprecedented initiative,” Luetkemeyer and the 29 other lawmakers write.

The letter from House members follows one sent to the Justice Department earlier this month by six Republican senators, demanding that Attorney General Eric Holder release information about Operation Choke Point.

The House members want a response to their request for an investigation by Nov. 12.

“There is no doubt in my mind that [Justice Department] officials have abused their authority to address consumer fraud issues while misleading business owners by claiming financial institutions have not suffered any actual losses,” Luetkemeyer said in a press release.

Continue reading and examine the letters lawmakers sent to the Obama Administration demanding answers HERE.

 

NYT: Obama IRS Seizing Cash From Small Businesses. No Charges Filed….

…and letting the small business pay lawyers thousands to sue the government and try to get their money back.

There used to be about a hundred of these types of seizures per year, The Obama Administration did 639 just in 2012 alone.

New York Times:

ARNOLDS PARK, Iowa — For almost 40 years, Carole Hinders has dished out Mexican specialties at her modest cash-only restaurant. For just as long, she deposited the earnings at a small bank branch a block away — until last year, when two tax agents knocked on her door and informed her that they had seized her checking account, almost $33,000.

The Internal Revenue Service agents did not accuse Ms. Hinders of money laundering or cheating on her taxes — in fact, she has not been charged with any crime. Instead, the money was seized solely because she had deposited less than $10,000 at a time, which they viewed as an attempt to avoid triggering a required government report.

“How can this happen?” Ms. Hinders said in a recent interview. “Who takes your money before they prove that you’ve done anything wrong with it?”

The federal government does.

Using a law designed to catch drug traffickers, racketeers and terrorists by tracking their cash, the government has gone after run-of-the-mill business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation that they have committed serious crimes. The government can take the money without ever filing a criminal complaint, and the owners are left to prove they are innocent. Many give up.

“They’re going after people who are really not criminals,” said David Smith, a former federal prosecutor who is now a forfeiture expert and lawyer in Virginia. “They’re middle-class citizens who have never had any trouble with the law.”

On Thursday, in response to questions from The New York Times, the I.R.S. announced that it would curtail the practice, focusing instead on cases where the money is believed to have been acquired illegally or seizure is deemed justified by “exceptional circumstances.”

[Editor’s Note: This is an admission that the IRS knew that they were seizing money from people they knew full well were innocent.]

But the Institute for Justice, a Washington-based public interest law firm that is seeking to reform civil forfeiture practices, analyzed structuring data from the I.R.S., which made 639 seizures in 2012, up from 114 in 2005. Only one in five was prosecuted as a criminal structuring case.

The practice has swept up dairy farmers in Maryland, an Army sergeant in Virginia saving for his children’s college education and Ms. Hinders, 67, who has borrowed money, strained her credit cards and taken out a second mortgage to keep her restaurant going.

 

Jon Oliver Blasts Obama Administration for Failing to Help Military Translators Facing A Death Mark (video)

Jon Oliver describes the nightmare visa application process the Obama Administration and State Department has made it for translators who put their lives and their family’s lives at great risk by helping American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Long story short, the administration seems content to let them get their throats cut: