For years congressional Republicans have alleged or implied that several federal agencies were using an anti-fraud operation known as Operation Choke Point to intimidate and shut down legitimate industries that the Obama administration doesn't approve of, but a Department of Justice investigation has found no evidence of a conspiracy.
Former House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-SC) accused the Obama administration of targeting a wide range of business from payday loans to gun dealers, to online porn and condom companies. Some Republicans even accused the Obama administration of using the operation to attack the Big Gulp drink industry.
The Justice Department investigation found no evidence of a conspiracy, but if you want to accuse federal attorneys of anything, you could accuse them of being biased against a terrible industry.
The DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility "concluded that Department of Justice attorneys involved in Operation Choke Point did not engage in professional misconduct," says the report, provided to members of Congress this week. "OPR's inquiry further determined that Civil Division employees did not improperly target lawful participants."
While the report found no serious misconduct, it notes DOJ attorneys may have viewed online payday lending with disdain.
Operation Choke Point has resulted in just three prosecutions of banks that were involved in fraud. No gun stores or purveyors of Big Gulps have been harmed.
I don't expect Republicans will accept this report as face value. The Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility could be in on the conspiracy, right?