When Chase Bank demanded a non-profit to turn over its donor list, guess who is probably lurking in the shadows
Sam Brownback, the former U.S. senator and governor of Kansas, recently announced that his National Committee for Religious Freedom (NCRF) had been booted out of Chase Bank just three weeks after opening an account.
Who made that decision at Chase? Who imposed it without explanation?
Brownback says he is not sure. He also said, however, that multiple employees from the megabank’s “corporate office” told him the decision is final and irrevocable.
News of this refusal of service shocked many. The goals and agenda of NCRF are hardly those of an extremist organization. They revolve simply around defending religious freedom, which is a 246-year American tradition.
The news did not shock me, however.
My organization, Christian Action Network, had its account shut down a year and a half ago by the bank BB&T (now Truist). The reason? We were told the account was not being “used as intended.”
For 30-plus years we had used the BB&T account the same way. We deposited credit card donations into it and used the money to pay for company expenses. Nothing new. Nothing different. It was repeat, repeat, same-old over and over again for three decades.
Basically, it seems BB&T just wanted us out of their system. Our pro-family, pro-Bible, pro-America views were likely too extreme for the corporate office.
So why would the news of a conservative group being kicked out of a bank come as any surprise to me? Heck, even “pillow guy” Mike Lindell was kicked out of Heartland Financial’s Minnesota Bank & Trust.
Except that there is more to this Chase-NCRF story, and it should alarm us all. Apparently, Chase offered Brownback a way to keep doing business with them, and it involves some absolutely chilling conditions.✓
Shocking reinstatement requirements
Brownback claims Chase said it would reinstate NCRF’s account if the group provided:
1. a list of its donors
2. a list of political candidates it intends to support
3. an explanation of its criteria for selecting those political candidates
Even BB&T didn’t invasively ask Christian Action Network for that kind of information. The obvious question is, why would Chase want and demand it?
There is no reasonable explanation, at least none that doesn’t smell sickeningly of rotten politics.
So allow me to offer some equally foul explanations.
It first needs to be pointed out that ALL the information Chase is seeking is clearly political. If Chase wants to know which political candidates NCRF supports (and even why), then it can be assumed they want those donor names for political reasons as well.
In this case, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
The most nefarious explanation for requesting NCRF’s donor list is so Chase can turn those names over to the feds. Under current federal law, the U.S. government cannot force nonprofit organizations to disclose the names of their donors. Those laws do not apply to private businesses, however.
Is Biden using banks to do his dirty work?
Theoretically, suppose Chase obtains Brownback’s list of donors (which it can legally demand before doing business). In that case, it would be lawful to turn those names over to the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or any other corrupt, weaponized, power-abusing federal agency.
The practice of the Biden administration conspiring with private companies to push the White House agenda is nothing new. They are, in fact, in court now over their alleged collusion with Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to censor the free speech of Americans on COVID issues, mask mandates, and the Hunter Biden laptop story.
Anyone taking a Civics class knows that the federal government cannot censor its citizens’ free speech. However, to get around this, the states of Missouri and Louisiana are alleging the Biden administration put pressure on social media platforms to do the censoring for them.
Is it so off-target to suggest the Biden administration is now seeking to obtain the names of an organization’s donors (which they cannot legally obtain themselves) by pressuring banks to do their dirty work for them?
If they are, what will the feds do with those names?
Will those donors be matched against the DOJ’s Domestic Violent Extremists (DVEs) list, which may include Moms and Pops who got into overheated conversations with school board members; or anyone who attended the Jan. 6, 2021 Stop the Steal Rally in Washington, D.C.; or anyone the U.S. Post Office has accused of using “inflammatory words” in a social media post?
After flagging those individuals, the feds could then make the argument that NCRF is being funded, in part, by Domestic Violent Extremists and should lose its tax-exempt status.
Chase baits the non-profit into a trap
Each of Chase Bank’s requests is a potential trap for NCRF to lose its tax-exempt status.
When Chase asked NCRF for a list of political candidates it plans to support, it was also baiting NCRF into a trap that could cost them their nonprofit, tax-exempt status.
NCRF is a 501(c)3 corporation and, by law, is not allowed to endorse political candidates without suffering fines and possible tax-exemption forfeiture.
Certainly, the nation’s largest financial institution knows about these electoral prohibitions placed on nonprofit organizations. How could they not? Chase has a whole page dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations.
If the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, then the three requests made by Chase all point to an effort to strip NCRF of its nonprofit status.
For argument’s sake, let’s imagine Chase has no devious plan to turn NCRF’s donor list and support of political candidates over to the DOJ, FBI, IRS, ATF, FEC, etc. What other possible explanation could Chase offer for demanding a copy of NCRF’s donor list before reinstating its bank account?
Maybe they would like to check those names against their database and learn which individuals have accounts with Chase. The friendly neighborhood bank could then harass those individuals as well. If Chase had the gall to drop-kick NCRF out the door, would they show any mercy to those less well-known bank account owners?
No end to possible sinsiter motives
There has to be a reason Chase wants those names. If it’s not to turn them over to the feds, then what? If Chase regards the NCRF as an organization radical enough not to deserve its services, then by default those donors must be extreme as well, and their accounts should be examined and possibly canceled as well.
Or maybe they don’t intend to punt these donors out of their bank. Instead, maybe they decide to use the information to deny loans to NCFR donors. Perhaps they turn the spending histories of those donors over to the feds for investigation. Maybe they feed those names back to the FBI and let them know who is holding safe-deposit boxes with Chase Bank.
Crazy? Tell that to the customers of a U.S. Private Vaults store in Beverly Hills after the FBI misled a judge and raided 1,400 safe-deposit boxes there.
“Agents took photos and videos of pay stubs, password lists, credit cards, a prenuptial agreement, immigration and vaccination records, bank statements, heirlooms and a will, court records show. In one box, agents found cremated human remains,” reported Yahoo! News.
Even if none of these nefarious scenarios are the actual reason Chase wants the NCRF donor list, the damage has already been done. These requests will clearly have a chilling effect on any member of the public who might want to donate to a conservative-leaning organization.
A well-known ploy of Hollywood horror films is never to show the monster, but let the audience imagine its own nightmare, which can be more terrifying than anything even CGI graphics can create.
Chase Bank’s targeting of NCRF is likely no accident. It’s a big organization with a big name behind it, and it’s a mildly controversial conservative nonprofit with lots of potential publicity.
If Chase wants the names of people donating to an innocuous conservative-leaning group, then what chance do you have of keeping your name confidential if you donate to what the woke mob alleges are neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and anti-democracy organizations?
Planting the monster in your head
Going after much smaller groups such as Christian Action Network isn’t going to generate the same ballyhoo, the same intimidation factor, as going after donors to a group headed by a former governor, U.S. senator and ambassador-at-large.
There’s no disputing that a disturbing message is being sent, and that a menacing monster has been placed in the brains of all donors to conservative causes.
Good luck trying to Chase that image out.