Operation Choke Point

by Walter Olson on July 31, 2014

Cato event held earlier this month with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Cato senior fellow Mark Calabria. Here’s the description:

Launched in early 2013, “Operation Choke Point” is a joint effort by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the bank regulators to limit access to the bank payments system by various businesses. Initially targeted at small-dollar nonbank lenders, Choke Point has grown to cover a variety of legitimate, legal businesses that just happen to be unpopular with DOJ, such as gun dealers and porn stars. Initial responses from DOJ claimed such efforts were limited to illegal businesses committing fraud. A recent report by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform reveals DOJ’s claims to be false. In today’s economy, almost any economic activity depends on access to the payments system; allowing DOJ, without trial or a right to appeal, to arbitrarily limit access represents an almost unprecedented abuse of power.

Earlier here. More: House hearing; Funnell.

{ 2 comments }

1 En Passant 07.31.14 at 1:57 pm

Tip to DOJ:

Want a 100% conviction rate in criminal prosecutions?

Just extend “Operation Choke Point” to cover all payments to criminal defense lawyers.

2 Malcolm 08.01.14 at 12:20 am

I wonder what will be the reaction when the political cycle rolls over, and a new government starts using Operation Choke Point to such businesses as abortion providers.

Comments on this entry are closed.