The FBI had a “scheme” to cover up negative information about criminal activity involving President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, before the 2020 presidential election, according to “highly credible” whistleblowers who spoke to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
In a July 25 letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland, Sen. Grassley revealed that “highly credible” whistleblowers alleged the FBI falsely portrayed “derogatory information relating to Hunter Biden” as “disinformation.”
Grassley wrote that the FBI allegedly developed information regarding Hunter Biden’s “criminal financial and related activity” in 2020, but in August of that year – just three months before the presidential election involving his father Joe Biden – an FBI Headquarters team used an internal assessment by FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten to “improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation.”
The false “disinformation” label of “verified and verifiable derogatory information on Hunter Biden” caused the agency to halt investigations into the matter.
“Accordingly, 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,” Grassley wrote.
Grassley said that the same FBI HQ team was “in communication with FBI agents responsible for the Hunter Biden information targeted by Auten’s assessment” in September 2020. The FBI HQ team subsequently “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.”
Grassley called the restrictive efforts “problematic” because it “does not allow for proper oversight and opens the door to improper influence.”
Then, in October 2020 — just one month before the presidential election between Joe Biden and then-President Donald Trump — an “avenue of additional derogatory Hunter Biden reporting was ordered closed,” allegedly without the FBI providing a valid reason, as required by the bureau’s policies.
While the issue was closed in a way that allowed it to be reopened in the future, it is alleged that officials within the bureau tried to “improperly mark the matter in FBI systems so that it could not be opened in the future.”
Additionally, Grassley noted that in August 2020, he and Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) “received an unsolicited and unnecessary briefing from the FBI that purportedly related to our Biden investigation and a briefing for which the contents were later leaked in order paint the investigation in a false light.”
One month earlier, then-Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Mark Warner, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Adam Schiff contacted the FBI in an attempt to smear Sens. Grassley and Johnson’s investigation into Hunter Biden as being tied to “foreign disinformation.”
The congressional Democrats’ letter to the FBI “included unclassified elements that, among other things, unsuccessfully attempted to tie our investigative work to foreign disinformation.”
“Then, on July 16, 2020, then-Ranking Member Peters and then-Ranking Member Wyden requested a briefing on matters related to my and Senator Johnson’s Biden investigation from the very same FBI HQ team that discredited the derogatory Hunter Biden information,” Grassley’s letter continued.
Grassley said the “concurrent opening of Auten’s assessment, the efforts by the FBI HQ team and the efforts by the FBI to provide an unnecessary briefing to me and Senator Johnson that provided our Democratic colleagues fodder to falsely accuse us of advancing foreign disinformation” is cause for “serious concern.”
“The aforementioned allegations put a finer point on concerns that I have raised for many years about political considerations infecting the decision-making process at the Justice Department and FBI,” Grassley continued. “If these allegations are true and accurate, the Justice Department and FBI are – and have been – institutionally corrupted to their very core to the point in which the United States Congress and the American people will have no confidence in the equal application of the law.”
Grassley called on both Attorney General Garland and Director Wray to investigate the whistleblower allegations, asserting “you have systemic and existential problems within your agencies.”
“You have an obligation to the country to take these allegations seriously, immediately investigate and take steps to institute fixes to these and other matters before you,” Grassley added.