Yesterday, Senator Chuck Grassley sent this letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray regarding allegations from “highly credible whistleblowers” about the FBI’s “false portrayal” of derogatory Hunter Biden materials as “disinformation.”
If these allegations are true, it’s a damning depiction of FBI leadership and it proves their efforts to influence the 2020 election. This is the second (if not third) straight election the FBI has meddled in, given the influence the Trump/Russia investigation - and its unlawful origins with the FBI - had over the 2018 midterms.
Grassley’s whistleblowers allege that in August 2020, FBI Headquarters “improperly discredit[ed] negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation and caused investigative activity to cease.” In fact, it was a scheme of top FBI officials. As Grassley explains:
“the allegations provided to my office appear to indicate that there was a scheme in place among certain FBI officials to undermine derogatory information connected to Hunter Biden by falsely suggesting it was disinformation.”
The context and timing is important, as this was leading up to the 2020 election. Who benefited from this scheme? Democrat candidate Joe Biden. And it appears the FBI’s scheme furthered the interests of Congressional Democrats. Here’s how that happened.
On July 13, 2020, Democrat leaders – Chuck Schumer, Mark Warner, Nancy Pelosi, and Adam Schiff – sent this letter to the FBI alleging that “Congress was the subject of a foreign disinformation campaign.” The Democrats demanded that “the FBI provide a classified defensive briefing” on the issue of foreign disinformation, and that “the briefing draw on all-source intelligence information and analysis.” Parts of that letter were leaked to tie the Congressional Hunter Biden investigation to foreign disinformation.
Three days later, on July 16, 2020, Democrat Senators Gary Peters and Ron Wyden made their own demand for an FBI and intelligence community briefing related to purported foreign interference.
According to Grassley, these Democrat efforts resulted in an unnecessary briefing from the FBI in August 2020 relating to “disinformation” – which was later leaked to the press to paint the Biden investigation “in a false light.” In other words, the FBI was more than willing to be used by the Democrats less than 3 months before the 2020 election.
Then there’s also the issue of FBI Headquarters interfering in the Hunter Biden investigation. Grassley states:
in September 2020, investigators from the same FBI HQ team were in communication with FBI agents responsible for the Hunter Biden information targeted by Auten’s assessment. The FBI HQ team’s investigators placed their findings with respect to whether reporting was disinformation in a restricted access sub-file reviewable only by the particular agents responsible for uncovering the specific information.
The FBI Headquarters team “made findings” to whether certain reporting was disinformation – and then they limited access to those findings. This begs the question: what were those findings, and did they conflict with the popular narrative, falsely peddled by the Democrats and the media and former intelligence officials, that the Hunter Biden materials were disinformation?
The FBI was reticent to share this information before the election. When then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe stated there was “no intelligence to support” allegations of Russian disinformation efforts tied to the Hunter Biden materials, the FBI responded they had “nothing to add at this time.” Of course, this is apparently now disproven. The FBI had something to add. They just didn’t want to share it with the American people.
And there’s still more.
In October 2020, the whistleblowers allege that “an avenue of additional derogatory Hunter Biden reporting was ordered closed at the direction of” FBI Agent Timothy Thibault.
Who is Thibault? He is a partisan, anti-Trump FBI Agent from the Washington Field Office who shared derogatory social media posts about Attorney General Barr and retweeted Lincoln Project posts insulting President Trump. Thibault has since locked his Twitter account, which is highlighted with a Ukraine flag. You can make your own judgment on that.
Back to Thibault’s actions with respect to the Hunter Biden investigation. The whistleblowers further allege that Thibault suggested the Hunter Biden information was “at risk of disinformation,” although “all of the reporting was either verified or verifiable via criminal search warrants.” Thibault allegedly also violated FBI guidelines by ordering the matter closed without a valid reason. Thibault and other FBI officials then covered these tracks, attempting “to improperly mark the matter in FBI systems so that it could not be opened in the future.”
Making matters worse - if that’s possible - we also learned from Grassley’s letter that FBI SIA ( Supervisory Intelligence Analyst) Brian Auten was handling aspects of the Hunter Biden investigation. Who is Brian Auten? He interviewed Igor Danchenko (Christopher Steele’s primary sub source), who now faces an upcoming trial with Special Counsel John Durham for lying to federal officials.
We suspect that Auten covered up or otherwise smothered Danchenko’s lies to protect the Trump/Russia investigation (and thus also protect the FBI’s institutional interests). Our friend Stephen McIntyre – aka ClimateAudit – has focused on Auten in the past; here’s his Auten rabbit hole. The fact that Auten is in any way involved in the Hunter Biden investigation is not a good sign, and it indicates the FBI has failed to punish its most corrupt and incompetent employees.
The letter from Grassley comes after CNN reported on July 20 that:
The federal investigation into Hunter Biden's business activities is nearing a critical juncture as investigators weigh possible charges and prosecutors confront Justice Department guidelines to generally avoid bringing politically sensitive cases close to an election, according to people briefed on the matter.
There are some clues in the CNN report that suggest members of Biden’s DOJ are trying to serve President Biden by protecting his son.
First, current DOJ officials – including those at DOJ headquarters – have debated whether the prosecution of Hunter Biden for tax and firearm charges should be put-off until after the 2022 midterms. But as CNN observes, federal prosecutors have brought politically-charged cases against Trump attorney Michael Cohen and Republican Congressman Chris Collins just before the 2018 election.
Second, this suggests that there is at least some supervision of the Hunter Biden investigation by top-level DOJ officials appointed by Biden. CNN reports that the investigation has entered its final stages and that “prosecutors have narrowed their focus to tax and gun-related charges.”
If Hunter Biden is indeed charged with those “narrow” crimes, it’s going to be essential to determine who made that call. After all, there is more than enough evidence to charge Hunter Biden with violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act. (Bijan Rafiekian, of the Flynn Intel Group, faced similar charges for far-less egregious conduct.) Recall previous New York Times reporting that:
there has been debate within the Justice Department over whether the available evidence proves that Mr. Biden intended to violate FARA, which the government must prove in order to secure a criminal conviction.
As we have observed, this misstates the law on FARA. One must ask whether the DOJ is making it intentionally difficult to prosecute Hunter Biden for his FARA violations and his schemes to enrich himself and manipulate his political connections, as he furthered the interests of his foreign clients.
This gives us another question: who is making these prosecuting decisions – is it the career prosecutors, or is it Main Justice?
If Hunter Biden escapes the FARA charges, or if he isn’t indicted before the upcoming elections, I think we can safely assume Main Justice is pulling some strings. And that’s a scandal in its own right.