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Leading Senator Vows To Investigate New Domestic Spying Claims

Senator Wyden spoke out in response to a BuzzFeed News investigation.

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A leading member of the senate intelligence committee has vowed to “get to the bottom” of allegations, reported in a BuzzFeed News story published Friday, that the intelligence division at the Treasury Department has been illegally snooping on the finances of Americans.

“If true, those allegations would represent a serious abuse of spying powers to gather Americans’ financial information,” Senator Ron Wyden’s spokesman, Keith Chu, said in a statement: “Sen. Wyden plans to get to the bottom of what happened and take a close look at whether the rules currently protecting the privacy of Americans are strong enough and adequately enforced.”

BuzzFeed News reported that at least a dozen employees in another branch of the Treasury Department, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, have warned officials and Congress that U.S. citizens financial data has been illegally searched and stored by officials at Treasury’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis.

A senior Treasury official, who requested anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak on the matter, called it “domestic spying.”

In a statement, Treasury officials said the department, and all its various branches, “operate in a manner consistent with applicable legal authorities.”

The department’s Inspector General said it has launched a review of the issue.

Jason Leopold is a senior investigative reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in LA. Recipient: IRE 2016 FOI award; Newseum Institute National Freedom of Information Hall of Fame. PGP fingerprint 46DB 0712 284B 8C6E 40FF 7A1B D3CD 5720 694B 16F0. Contact this reporter at jason.leopold@buzzfeed.com

Contact Jason Leopold at jason.leopold@buzzfeed.com.

Jessica Garrison is a senior investigative editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.

Contact Jessica Garrison at jessica.garrison@buzzfeed.com.

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