Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) recently blasted Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for targeting former President Donald Trump’s supporters and Bible owners across America.
During a hearing in the Senate Banking Committee, the Tennessee congressman grilled Yellen about the Biden administration’s constant targeting of Trump supporters and Bible-carrying Christians across the U.S., along with the administration’s labeling of Republicans as “extremists.”
In a statement, Hagerty cited a document released in January 2024 by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the Treasury Department, which directed financial institutions to keep a close eye on Americans’ transactions for “extremist indicators,” such as supporting Trump.
Yellen dodges when asked DIRECTLY if she thinks it is OK for the Treasury Dept to spy on the finances of people who voted for Trump or buy BIBLES. What an awful, horrible, craven woman. https://t.co/b4PpCwVAAY
— Vicki McKenna (@VickiMcKenna) February 9, 2024
“If you think about last month’s revelation that FinCEN—that’s a bureau that’s under your watch—directed financial institutions to flag customers who demonstrated ‘extremist indicators,’ like the words ‘Trump,’ or ‘MAGA,’ or whether they made transactions to purchase religious books,” Hagerty began.
“This time it’s not just an IRS contractor doing it; this is the Administration itself taking personal data to target its political foes,” he added.
“Secretary Yellen, do you believe that people that purchase Bibles are extremists,” Hagerty asked Yellen.
The Treasury secretary then tried to defend FinCEN’s actions, saying the bureau’s “mission is to safeguard the financial system from illicit use to combat money laundering terrorist finance.”
“Not to target Americans for purchasing Bibles or voting for Donald Trump?” Hagerty pushed back.
In response, Yellen tried to justify the bureau’s targeting of Republicans, claiming “there were efforts to work with financial institutions to determine what had happened and to work with them to provide relevant information.”
Hagerty replied that “It’s ridiculous” to label Bible purchases as “relevant information” to determine if someone is an “extremist.”
Under Yellen’s tenure, inflation has reached record highs. The Treasury secretary admitted during the Senate Banking Committee hearing that prices for most items are unlikely to return to their prices before the inflation crisis began when President Joe Biden took office in 2021.
Notably, in 2021, Hagerty voted to confirm Yellen as secretary of the Department of Treasury. The Tennessee lawmaker emphasized the need for “competent, steady leadership” in the department at the time.