FBI Director Christopher Wray conceded that allegations from whistleblowers alleging that FBI agents have been falsely claiming Hunter Biden information as disinformation are “deeply troubling,” but Republicans are calling on him to do more and acknowledge “politicization” within the Bureau.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday, Wray was asked by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) about allegations that “highly credible whistleblowers” at the Justice Department and FBI shared with Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office last week.
Grassley, in a letter to Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland last week, explained the allegations. He claimed that the whistleblowers said 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 whistleblowers also alleged a “pattern of active public partisanship” at the agencies, particularly related to Trump campaign investigations and the information on the Hunter Biden probe being suppressed.
“When I read the letter that describes the kinds of things that you’re talking about, I found it deeply troubling,” Wray testified Thursday.
Whistleblowers alleged that Assistant Special Agent in Charge Timothy Thibault and others are the largest cause of the issue.
Grassley warned Wray and Garland in his letter last week that Thibault’s “partisanship likely affected investigations briefed to, and approved by, senior Justice Department and FBI officials.”
Grassley claimed that those whistleblowers told him DOJ and FBI employees must follow strict substantial factual predication in order to open an investigation. They claim Thibault did not follow these policies.
During the hearing, Wray announced that Thibault would be removed from his position and promised that the whistleblowers would be protected.
But Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) argued that it fell on Wray to do more to fight partisanship within the FBI.
“It’s about time Director Wray acknowledges that the politicization of the FBI is ‘deeply troubling,’” he said. “Unfortunately, this has been obvious during his entire tenure as director, and he’s done nothing about it.”
Johnson was mainly referring to the FBI’s investigation into possible Russian collusion in former President Trump’s first campaign that Hillary Clinton used as a major talking point for her campaign, which was repeated and taken as fact by many throughout the Trump presidency. However, the claims were eventually proven false.
“I suppose better late than never,” Johnson said. “But I’m not holding my breath.”
GOP senators also allege after whistleblower corroboration that an Aug. 6, 2020, meeting was explicitly intended to “undermine” their investigation into Hunter Biden.
“If these recent whistleblower revelations are true, it would strongly suggest that the FBI’s August 6, 2020, briefing was indeed a targeted effort to intentionally undermine a Congressional investigation,” Johnson wrote in a letter to Biden administration officials last week.
“The FBI being weaponized against two sitting chairmen of U.S. Senate committees with constitutional oversight responsibilities would be one of the greatest episodes of Executive Branch corruption in American history.”
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