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Sen. Lummis asks Biden ‘do you distrust Americans so much that you need to know when they buy a couch?’

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Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) took her opportunity to blast President Biden during the latest Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen appeared for a hearing Tuesday when Lummis took aim at Biden’s financial policy.

Following Biden’s proposal to require banks to hand over transaction data over $600 on individual bank accounts, Lummis railed against the president

“Banks do not work for the IRS,” Lummis said. “This is invasive of privacy. Wyoming’s people literally will find alternatives to traditional banks just to thwart IRS access to their personal information, not because they’re trying to hide anything, but because they are not willing to share everything.”

However, Secretary Yellen corrected the senator. She claimed that the administration would just see reports on aggregate transactions. This way, there would be no way to see the data behind individual accounts.

“Do you distrust the American people so much that you need to know when they bought a couch? Or a cow?” Lummis asked. “I am astounded by what you’re supporting and proposing. I think it’s invasive. I think privacy for individuals is being ignored. And I think that treating the American people like they are subjects of the government is unconscionable.”

“The IRS has a wealth of information about individuals,” Yellen said. According to the treasure secretary, the proposal is for those who have “opaque sources of income.”

“A $600 threshold is not usually where you’re going to find the massive amount of tax data you think Americans are cheating you out of,” Lummis responded.

According to the Office of Tax Analysis, a crackdown on unreported income could generate $460 billion over the next decade. Yet, the IRS estimates that compliance on taxes due on wages is 99%. Meanwhile, compliance on what they call “less visible” sources of income is at 45%.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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National Security

Whistleblower: FBI manipulating cases to create ‘illusion’ of domestic violent extremism

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In a letter addressed to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said a whistleblower has come forward detailing how the FBI is manipulating cases related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to create “the illusion” that domestic violent extremism is a widespread problem in the United States.

Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, claimed the “manipulative case-file practice” was being conducted by the bureau’s Washington field office, which was instructing local FBI offices to open up cases on their books that were in fact simply related to the Capitol breach.

“The  FBI’s case categorization creates the illusion that threats from DVE are present in jurisdictions across the nation, when in reality they all stem from the same related investigation concerning the actions at the Capitol on January 6,” Jordan wrote.

“Such an artificial case categorization scheme allows FBI leadership to misleadingly point to ‘significant’ increases in DVE threats nationwide,” he added.

Jordan noted this particular whistleblower is just one of many with similar information: “consistent with disclosures we have received from other whistleblowers that high-ranking FBI officials — including a senior WFO official — are pressing front-line agents to categorize cases as DVE matters to fit a political narrative.”

The letter also brought attention to the inappropriate amount of resources the department has devoted to the January 6 Capitol riots:

“The whistleblower disclosed that the FBI is sacrificing its other important federal law-enforcement duties to pursue January 6 investigations,” Jordan wrote. “The whistleblower recalled, for example, being told that child sexual abuse material investigations were no longer an FBI priority and should be referred to local law enforcement agencies.

“Such a posture is not only a dereliction of the FBI’s mission to investigate violations of federal laws, but it is a grave disservice to the victims of child sexual abuse and other crimes that do not advance the FBI leadership’s political agenda.”

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