If you were to ask most people to name the most abusive federal agency or entity in America today, most would probably choose the FBI or the IRS. But we now have a new federal entity in place that puts the IRS and the FBI to shame when it comes to abusing the rights of individual Americans. That entity is Nancy Pelosi’s partisan January 6 Committee.
This committee has now seized unilateral powers for itself that have been expressly prohibited by the Supreme Court on two different occasions. The committee is conducting parallel criminal investigations of Trump supporters over January 6, despite the fact that congress has no authority to conduct criminal investigations; that power lies within the Executive branch, and only under the supervision of the Judicial branch.
The latest private citizen to find his civil rights are being violated by the 1/6 Committee is a guy named Taylor Budowich. He’s a former Trump campaign spokesman. Budowich was in DC on January 6 to attend Trump’s speech, but that was all he did that day. Budowich did not march on the Capitol, he did not enter the building, he did not break any windows. In fact, when Trump’s speech wrapped up Budowich went home. That was the extent of his involvement in the protest.
Then, out of the blue, Budowich was subpoenaed by the Committee. He complied by flying to DC on December 21. He turned over his text messages and other information that the Committee had requested and testified to the Committee on that same day (Dec. 21).
When Budowich arrived back home on the evening of December 22, he had a letter waiting for him from his bank, JPMorgan Chase. Here is why it is so important to know your rights when dealing with any federal entity. Budowich’s bank informed him that they had received a subpoena from the Committee, and that they would be turning all his financial records over to the Committee on December 24.
When the FBI subpoenas a bank to try to obtain someone’s financial records, there are checks and balances in place to protect the individual’s rights. The person can go to court and explain the reasons why his financial records should be off-limits. Unless you are a terrorist or a blue-haired Antifa arsonist, there’s a very good chance that a court will side with you in the case.
The January 6 Committee originally went to JPMorgan Chase and asked for Budowich’s financial records no later than December 13. But the bank’s chief legal counsel made a counteroffer. The legal counsel asked the January 6 committee to set the deadline for December 24.
When Budowich went home and found the letter from his bank, he learned that he had less than 48 hours to protest his situation to a court. His lawyers frantically asked for an extension, but JPMorgan Chase refused to try to get an extension. The bank handed over all of Budowich’s financial records on December 24.
Say, who is the JPMorgan Chase chief legal counsel who set up this convoluted plot? That would be Loretta Lynch, Barack Obama’s former Attorney General. The bank informed Budowich that it would hand over his records on the 24th. They knew full well that this would prevent Budowich from mounting any sort of legal objection to it. There simply wasn’t enough time, and all the courts would be closed for the long Christmas weekend.
Just to be clear, no congressional committee has the authority to subpoena and obtain the financial records of private citizens. That has been the case since the McCarthy era. That is simply too much power for a congressional committee to have, especially since there is no federal agency, body or court that provides oversight of Congress. Yet the January 6 Committee has now claimed this power for itself.
The January 6 Committee’s lawyers argued before a court that none of the safeguards in place to protect citizens’ rights from the FBI actually apply to the Committee. The Committee has claimed for itself a power to invade the privacy and financial records of citizens that no other federal agency could ever get away with. And there is no court looking over the Committee’s shoulder to ensure that Americans’ rights are not being violated.
If the January 6 Committee can seize the financial records of Taylor Budowich – a person who was nowhere near the Capitol on January 6 – then it can seize your records on a whim as well. No one is safe from a committee that is claiming unlimited powers for itself, and which is submitting to no oversight from any other branch of government.