Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) made headlines online Tuesday after referencing the movie “Minority Report” while questioning President-elect Donald Trump’s Attorney General choice, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).
At the confirmation hearing, Crapo began talking about Operation Choke Point, an initiative of the Department of Justice that investigated banks and other businesses that might be at high risk for fraud and money laundering.
Crapo referred to the industries as those “who operate in these industries that haven’t done anything wrong, but these are industries that might do more wrong than other industries.”
Crapo went on to compare it to “Minority Report.”
“It was a Tom Cruise movie about an advanced police force in the future that had developed the ability to know you if you were going to commit a crime before you committed the crime,” Crapo said. “It was really good at stopping crime before you committed it.”
The senator went on to say one of the police force in the movie then came up on the list and that’s the plot of the movie.
“My point is we can’t really tell for sure that Operation Choke Point is still operating although we still have people in this industry who can’t get financing. If that kind of thing is going on in the Department of Justice, will you assure that it ends?” Crapo asked Sessions.
“I will, at least, as you framed this issue and as I understand it, what little I know about it,” replied Sessions. “Fundamentally a lawful business should not be attacked by having other lawful businesses pressured not to business with the first business.”
Critics of Operation Choke Point had complained the government was asking banks to identify customers who are simply doing something government officials do not like.
“Banks then 'choke off' those customers' access to financial services, shutting down their accounts,” wrote Frank Keating in the Wall Street Journal.
Naturally, Crapo’s “Minority Report” reference began to trend online. On Twitter, the senator’s question made it to the top 10 topics Tuesday afternoon.
Sen. Crapo just spoiled "Minority Report" for anyone who hasn't seen it in the Sessions confirmation.— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) January 10, 2017
Liberals freaking out about mention of Minority Report today during confirmation hearings. But let "celebrities" tell them how to think?— Bird's Eye View (@The_Patriot_V) January 10, 2017
Update on Sessions hearing:— Queen 👑 (@iamRIHANNAriri) January 10, 2017
Dems: It's time you're held accountable for your racist/sexist record.
Repubs: Have you seen MINORITY REPORT?
Watch Crapo's entire questioning of Sessions: