The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was ordered to turn over documents related to Operation Choke Point late last week.
District Court Judge Gladys Kessler told the government agency it had to begin working with the plaintiffs in the case for a nine-month discovery period beginning on June 20, 2017. “There is no justification whatsoever for not granting Plaintiffs’ Motion to Commence Discovery Immediately,” Judge Kessler said in her order.
Payday Loan Industry – The order comes after the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA) and a group of financial services companies filed suit against the FDIC over their conduct during Operation Choke Point. Under that operation banks were allegedly pressured into cutting ties with industries the Obama-era agency viewed unfavorably. Payday and other short-term lenders as well as those involved in the firearms industry said they were specifically targeted under the program.
“‘Operation Choke Point’ is an Obama Administration initiative that encourages federal financial services regulators to harass and intimidate banks and financial institutions that work with firearm and ammunition retailers,” the National Rifle Association said in February 2016. “By leaning on the banks, regulators hoped to bring an end to those relationships thereby choking off their cash flow and forcing them out of business. A 2015 Congressional Investigation revealed that ammunition and firearm sales and dealers had, in fact, been targeted.”
CFSA said they were happy with the court’s order and believe the documents they will receive during discovery will shed light on whether the FDIC forced banks to deny certain businesses their services and, if so, how they chose which industries to target.
“We are thrilled by the Court’s order to enter the discovery phase, as this illegal federal program has been unduly harming legal entities for years,” Dennis Shaul, CEO of CFSA, told the Washington Free Beacon. “This court order allowing discovery will now finally enable the plaintiffs to access records of the federal government’s behind-the-scenes and secretive campaign to force banks to terminate their relationships with lawful American businesses. It is high time that the government’s unlawful and unjust crusade against lawful and licensed businesses be stopped. The federal regulators leading Operation Choke Point have threatened and pressured banks in the shadows of the law for far too long.
“The government defendants are well aware they have been on the wrong side of history for years and will stop at nothing to hide the extent of their illegal campaign. The Court’s ruling will allow these shady and criminal actions to be brought to the light of day.”
“The decision to grant discovery is probably the most important victory in the entire case, likely more important than the final judgment.”
Read this Report in FULL here: FreeBeacon.com