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Justice Dept. Clears Itself of Wrongdoing, Says It Didn’t Target Gun Companies in Controversial Operation Chokepoint

2nd Amend.

Justice Dept. Clears Itself of Wrongdoing, Says It Didn’t Target Gun Companies in Controversial Operation Chokepoint

Why would they find themselves guilty of anything?

An internal investigation by the Department of Justice asserts there was no wrongdoing by the department in the controversial Operation Choke Point.

Operation Choke Point is run through the Department of Justice, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Consumer Financial Protection Board and targets how banks handle accounts with the gun industry, payday lenders, casinos, check cashers and debt collectors, among other businesses deemed as high risk by the government.

Last May, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a report saying there was strong evidence to show the operation was unfairly targeting legal businesses by denying industries such as gun dealers, payday lenders and others access to financial services needed for survival and forcing banks to terminate relationships with several legitimate businesses that regulators said posed a “reputational risk” for the banks.

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) led more than 30 other members of Congress to ask for the Justice Department internal probe from the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility and from its inspector general.

The OPR determined that Justice Department attorneys did not engage in professional misconduct or target industries in an improper way during the operation.

“Neither the design nor the initial implementation of Operation Choke Point specifically focused on Internet payday lenders or their lending practices,” the OPR report says.

The OPR is charged with conducting unbiased investigations of misconduct allegations against Department attorneys.

The report found that while Justice Department attorneys viewed payday lenders “in a negative light,” there wasn’t evidence to suggest that the department issued subpoenas unfairly.

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