OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The Hunter Biden scandal is still hanging over President Joe Biden and his administration. And if Republicans win back Congress in November, it could become a nightmare for him.
The president’s Department of Justice and FBI have been accused by “highly credible whistleblowers” of burying “verified and verifiable” information about the president’s son as “disinformation,” according to Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley, the New York Post reported.
The senator, who is the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, penned a blistering letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday.
In the letter, he said that if the allegations were proven it would prove that both the DOJ and FBI are “institutionally corrupted to their very core.”
“The information provided to my office involves concerns about the FBI’s receipt and use of derogatory information relating to Hunter Biden and the FBI’s false portrayal of acquired evidence as disinformation. The volume and consistency of these allegations substantiate their credibility and necessitate this letter,” the senator said.
“First, it’s been alleged that the FBI developed information in 2020 about Hunter Biden’s criminal financial and related activity. It is further alleged that in August 2020, FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten opened an assessment that was used by an FBI Headquarters (“FBI HQ”) team to improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation and caused investigative activity to cease. Based on allegations, verified and verifiable derogatory information on Hunter Biden was falsely labeled as disinformation,” he said.
“The basis for how the FBI HQ team selected the specific information for inclusion in Auten’s assessment is unknown, but in more than one instance the focus of the FBI HQ team’s attention involved derogatory information about Hunter Biden. 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.
“Importantly, it’s been alleged to my office that Auten’s assessment was opened in August 2020, which is the same month that Senator Johnson and I 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,” the senator said.
“As Senator Johnson and I have publicly noted, on July 13, 2020, then-Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Mark Warner, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Representative Adam Schiff sent a letter, with a classified attachment, to the FBI to express a purported belief that Congress was the subject of a foreign disinformation campaign. The July 13, 2020, the letter included unclassified elements that, among other things, unsuccessfully attempted to tie our investigative work to foreign disinformation. Those unclassified elements were later leaked to the press to try and smear our Biden investigation as unrelated 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.2 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 draws serious concern.
“Second, it has been alleged that 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 restricted access sub-file reviewable only by the particular agents responsible for uncovering the specific information. This is problematic because it does not allow for proper oversight and opens the door to improper influence,” he said.
He went on to say “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.”
“Based on allegations, verified and verifiable derogatory information on Hunter Biden was falsely labeled as disinformation,” he said.