FBI refuses to give Congress informant file alleging Biden took bribes as vice president
The Post learned that the FBI refused to provide Congress with an informant’s file claiming that Vice President Biden had taken bribes when he was president. This could lead to a showdown regarding access to information.
The House Oversight Committee chairman James Comer (R – Ky.) issued last week a legally-binding subpoena requiring the FBI turn over the document by noon on Wednesday. Instead, the FBI responded with a 6-page letter raising a variety of objections.
“Information derived from human sources that are not publicly known is incomplete and unreliable,” said FBI assistant director Christopher Dunham. He also stated that the reports of informants must be kept confidential to protect their sources.
Dunham wrote: “As the name implies, confidentiality is a fundamental element of the FBI’s Confidential Human Source Program.” Confidential sources provide information to FBI often at great risk to them and their families. They can also pose a significant risk to other people who are referenced in the reporting.
The FBI official concluded, “We…hope this helps you to understand that it is essential for the FBI to effectively execute its law enforcement and national-security responsibilities in order to keep this type of source information from being influenced by improper means — and prevent the redirection or use of this information outside of law enforcement or intelligence.”
Comer criticised the FBI for its stonewalling but did not announce any further steps in obtaining the document. Congress can apply financial pressure on agencies, and also use litigation in order to enforce their orders. They can also attempt to shame officials by using contempt votes.
Comer stated that “it’s clear from their response that they have the unclassified records the Oversight Committee requested, but are refusing to give them to the Committee.”
He added, “We asked the FBI not only to provide this record but also to inform us of what it did in order to investigate these accusations.” The FBI failed to do either. It is unacceptable that the FBI says ‘trust but don’t verify’. We will follow up with FBI and expect them to comply with the subpoena.”
A spokesperson for the FBI shared a similar comment to that of the letter.
“FBI agents use an FD-1023 to document unverified reports from a confidential source. The rep stated that documenting information did not establish its validity, credibility or compare it to other information verified by FBI.
“Revealing unverified or incomplete information may harm investigations, compromise prosecutions or judicial procedures, violate privacy and reputation, mislead the public or identify individuals who have provided information to law-enforcement, putting their safety at risk. The FBI relies on information from members of the general public and confidential sources. We are committed to maintaining the confidentiality of those who come forward.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who gave Comer a tip from a whistleblower about the document was the first to break the news that FBI had not complied with the writ.
They didn’t provide us with the unclassified documents. “They sent us a letter of five to six pages that I haven’t read through thoroughly,” Grassley said in an interview with The Post at Capitol.
They didn’t deny that it existed — that the document is real or unclassified… I don’t understand why they haven’t provided it.
The Oversight Committee has subpoenaed a FD-1023 Informant Report that was “created in June 2020” — months before Biden became president.
Last week, Comer & Grassley sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Wray in which they wrote: “We received highly credible and legally protected whistleblower disclosures.”
The Republicans stated that “based on these disclosures, it has come to our notice that the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation possess an unclassified FD-1023 that describes an alleged crime scheme involving the then Vice President Biden and a Foreign National relating to an exchange of money for policies decisions.”
Joe Biden, as vice president, interacted regularly with international business associates of his relatives from countries such as China, Kazakhstan Mexico, Russia, and Ukraine.
The FBI refused the handover of the document only hours after Comer held a press event where he identified 9 Biden family members allegedly receiving foreign income in suspicious circumstances that he and his fellow Republicans on committee described as involving little to no actual work.
“I believe the American people should know if the president is a criminal or not,” said Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. The Post. “I hope Joe Biden is willing to fully cooperate with the investigation. If he doesn’t have anything to hide, then he should provide everything that the committee requests.
Hawley said that Republicans would impeach Biden if he accepted bribes — adding, “Did this happen? We don’t. We need to know the truth. “If the president has nothing hidden, he should support transparency.”
The Oversight Committee has recently reviewed 150 Suspicious Activity Reports submitted by banks to Treasury Department about possible criminal activities by the First Family and their associates.
Hunter Biden, the first son of former Vice President Joe Biden, has reportedly been under federal criminal investigations related to his overseas earnings since 2018. His attorneys met with Justice Department officials on April 26, a sign that an arrest decision could be imminent.
A whistleblower from the IRS who has been overseeing the tax fraud case against Hunter Biden, since early 2020, informed Congress last week that he was sharing information with Congress about a coverup after already disclosing to the inspectors general of the Treasury and Justice Departments.
A letter from Mark Lytle, his lawyer, said that the long-time IRS employee can “contradict” the sworn testimony of Attorney General Merrick G. Garland to Congress — and “show examples of preferential treatment and political improperly infecting decision making.”
Garland stated last week that his testimony before Congress about the power of Delaware US Attorney David Weiss, to charge Hunter unilaterally even if the crimes took place outside the First State is still valid.
Weiss, a Trump-era holdover, was appointed to his current post by Delaware’s Democratic Senators in 2017.
NBC reported in November that “growing frustration” was growing within the FBI because Weiss hadn’t yet filed charges after the Bureau had completed most of its work.
NBC reported that Weiss was reviewing four possible charges: two misdemeanors of failure to file taxes, a felony of evading tax relating to a company expense, and a charge for lying on a federal firearm purchase form.
It is unclear whether authorities still consider charges against Hunter, for alleged money-laundering and failure to register under Foreign Agents Registration Act.
In 2018, the former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort received a 60-month prison sentence for FARA violations relating to his work with Ukraine. He also received another 30 months of imprisonment for other charges, including tax fraud and bank fraud as well as witness tampering.
Hunter, who critics say broke FARA registration standards with his work at Ukrainian gas company Burisma, which paid him up to one million dollars per year, confirmed that he was being investigated for tax fraud soon after his father’s election win in 2020. He reportedly borrowed $2 million last fiscal year to pay back taxes, though this does not legally absolve Hunter of the original nonpayment.