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Vienna, Virginia, United States - August 20, 2018: Website of The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury.Shutterstock

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — In the final days of the Trump administration, the U.S. Treasury Department circulated a letter to major U.S. financial institutions suggesting that mainstream social conservative organizations should be cut off from payment services in the name of stopping “hate,” according to a new report.

The Daily Signal reports that, on January 16, 2021, citing the January 6, 2021, Capitol breach that broke out following former President Donald Trump’s protest of Congress certifying the controversial 2020 election, Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FCEN) sent an email to the heads of Western Union, KeyBank, Wells Fargo, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, and other major banks with the subject line “Capitol Riots.”

The email approvingly shared a report put out by the left-wing nonprofits Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) and Global Disinformation Index (GDI), entitled “Bankrolling Bigotry: An Overview of the Online Funding Strategies of American Hate Groups.” The report identifies as “hate groups” a number of organizations which were neither involved in January 6 nor have ever advocated hate or violence, including the religious liberty firms Alliance Defending Freedom and Liberty Counsel, natural marriage and biological reality defense group Ruth Institute, the socially conservative Family Research Council, and the pro-life, pro-family American College of Pediatricians.

These organizations, which advocate for Christian values and mainstream conservative political positions, were listed alongside the likes of white supremacist and Holocaust denial organizations. The report says that financial service platforms “should adopt policies which limit their use by hate groups” and calls on Congress to make organizations it deems “hate groups” ineligible for tax-exempt status.

Yet the FCEN email, which was first revealed this month through the U.S. House’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, describes the report simply as an “overview on the funding of American hate groups,” alongside a variety of resources useful for “matters related to racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism (REMVE), which may have application to the capitol riots and related activity.”

“What business does the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network have in promoting the [Southern Poverty Law Center’s] ‘hate’ accusations?” the Signal’s Tyler O’Neil asks. “Does this agency, which works with law enforcement to aid in the prosecution of financial crimes, consider banks extending accounts to conservative Christian groups like ADF to be a ‘financial crime?’”

“FinCEN’s January 2021 email raises serious questions about whether the federal agency tasked with protecting the financial sector is a major force behind the debanking of conservatives,” he notes.

Over the past several years, there have been numerous instances of banks, credit card companies, and crowdfunding platforms cutting off services to conservative individuals and group, thanks in large part to the influence of left-wing groups like SPLC and the Anti-Defamation League and corporate trends such as ESG (environment, societal, governance) scoring. The Biden administration’s interest in centralized digital currency has further intensified fears of a future in which Americans’ basic economic freedoms are tied to conformity with the views of those in power.