Eventbrite implicated in investigation into Feds snooping on Trump supporters

The Capitol in Washington DC

Image by Art Bromage from Pixabay

US lawmakers are investigating whether Eventbrite assisted federal agencies in unlawfully surveilling the financial transactions of Donald Trump supporters.

House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan has requested documents and communications between both Eventbrite and GoFundMe and federal law enforcement agencies.

The Weaponization of the Federal Government subcommittee is particularly concerned about the companies’ communications with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the Treasury Department. It is claimed that the two companies as well as other private entities, such as banks, helped FinCEN track and monitor citizens’ private financial records in coordination with federal law enforcement.

The revelations about the federal government’s investigation into Trump supporters have lawmakers concerned about potential violations of constitutional liberties, the government’s use of private financial information, and coordination between FinCEN and the private sector.

“Potential abuses of civil liberties”

In a letter addressed to Eventbrite CEO Julia Hartz, Rep Jordan alleges that FinCEN emailed financial institutions a list of “crowdfunding sites” that included Eventbrite, GoFundMe, and Anedot, among others. FinCEN explained how financial institutions could use a “transaction reference” to identify customers making certain transactions on crowdfunding sites.

For example, in the email, FinCEN alerted financial institutions to customers’ use of Eventbrite, noting that “people have been observed using this site to post an event and sell tickets including bus tickets to the demonstrations.” FinCEN noted how ‘Card Purchase[s]’ to events are findable using “the transaction reference EB [the EVENT] with the phone number” and detailed how individuals who purchased tickets to events in support of President Trump could be identified using the transaction reference, “EB MARCH FOR TR 801413720.”

In the letter to Hartz, Jordan wrote: “Despite these transactions having no apparent nexus to criminal activity—and, in fact, relate to Americans exercising their First Amendment rights—FinCEN seems to have adopted a characterisation of these Americans as potential threat actors.

“This kind of pervasive financial surveillance, carried out in coordination with federal law enforcement, without legal process, into Americans’ private transactions is alarming and raises serious concerns about the federal government’s potential abuses of Americans’ fundamental civil liberties.”

Eventbrite has been given until March 18 to provide the communications.

In a statement released to, Eventbrite said: “After we received the letter and request for information from Rep. Jordan, Eventbrite conducted an extensive search of its email and file systems. We have found no record of being contacted by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

“Our team will comply with legal requests when necessary in the course of investigations and thank Rep. Jordan for his request.”