Whistleblower Accuses Bank of America of Giving Private Customer Info to FBI to Target Gun Purchasers
A whistleblower testified in a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary Committee in February that a major financial institution inappropriately data mined its customers’ bank information to aid the FBI in January 6 riot investigations.
Retired FBI National Security Intelligence Supervisor George Hill, who was based in the Boston Field Office in 2021, said Bank of America provided a list to the FBI of all customers who made transactions in or around D.C. January 5–7, 2021, according to a transcription of Hill’s testimony reviewed by Breitbart News.
Hill charged, among several allegations in his hours-long interview, that Bank of America had “no directive from the FBI” to compile the list and that it also prioritized at the top of the list “anyone who had purchased a firearm [anywhere] during any date” using a Bank of America product, such as a debit or credit card.
Hill’s testimony comes amid the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government investigating numerous allegations of civil liberties abuses by executive branch agencies.
Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) has said that since Biden took office, he has received “dozens” of complaints from FBI whistleblowers that may relate to the subcommittee’s work.
Jordan and Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, which houses the weaponization subcommittee, have interviewed three such whistleblowers, including Hill, this year.
As follow-ups to those interviews, the chairman requested on Friday that FBI Director Christopher Wray arrange for 16 FBI employees to testify in interviews with the committee.
Democrats, who have derided the witnesses as “so-called” whistleblowers, released a report last week that largely zeroed in on the three witnesses’ credibility. They accused Hill specifically of providing unreliable testimony about Bank of America.
“He had no knowledge of the actual origins of this supposed evidence, never used the evidence himself, and never looked at the actual document containing the information,” the Democrats stated, adding that Hill had involvement in “less than a dozen” cases related to January 6.
The Democrats said they could not therefore “reasonably find this testimony reliable.”
“In any event, that a large financial institution may have provided evidence to the FBI in the aftermath of the attack on the Capitol is hardly newsworthy, and certainly not evidence of FBI misconduct,” they contended.
Hill was clear in his testimony, according to the transcript of it, that he had not physically laid eyes on the Bank of America list but that he saw FBI communication about it.
“I did not see the list, but I did see the EC [electronic communication] that the FBI used it to bring it into the—into SENTINEL [FBI database],” Hill said.
He also said the FBI’s Washington Field Office (WFO), which has been accused by whistleblowers of farming out cases to field offices nationwide to make cases look more widespread, attempted to pressure the Boston Field Office to investigate January 6 cases based off the Bank of America list.
A supervisory special agent (SSA) with the Boston office said at the time that there was “‘no predication, there’s no crime that was committed by using a BoA product in the District or around the District’ and said, you know, ‘No further action required,’” Hill testified.
“To which WFO came back on a peer-to-peer level, an SSA to SSA, and said, ‘No, you need to open up cases on these,’ to which he said, ‘No, we’re not going to,’” Hill testified.
Hill noted during his testimony that the WFO continued to apply pressure up the Boston office’s chain of command but that it was met with objections.
Hill added he was not aware of whether the WFO opened cases on its own based on the Bank of America information.
Democrats sought to highlight Hill’s “bias” about the chain of events surrounding the January 6 riot by sharing in their report numerous tweets by Hill. Hill tweeted, for instance, “insurrection my a$$” and that the riot was a “set up”; however, Hill wrote all of the Democrats’ cited tweets after he left the FBI.
Hill retired from the bureau in October 2021, according to Empower Oversight, his legal counsel.
Empower Oversight said Hill “retired from the FBI on good terms having been decorated for his leadership role in the Boston Marathon Bombing Task Force.” He left after spending 30 years working in federal public service, Empower Oversight said.
Questions about Bank of America’s adherence to laws and policies, such as the Financial Right to Privacy Act and the general appropriateness of sending customers’ financial transactions to the FBI, remain open.
Bank of America did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.
The FBI told Breitbart News on Monday afternoon that it would respond to a request for comment as soon as possible but had not provided comment at the time of publication.