FBI Director Christopher Wray referred to “malicious foreign influence with potentially public corruption” during a Senate Committee hearing Thursday where attendees described Hunter Biden’s alleged misconduct in overseas business dealings. hypothetically.
When asked specifically about the case of President Joe Biden’s son, Wray described it as “an ongoing investigation that I expect our people to carry out aggressively.”
Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, raised the issue of Hunter Biden at the beginning of the hearing talking about efforts – reported by FBI whistleblowers – to close an investigation into the son of the president before the 2020 presidential election.
“In August 2020, FBI supervisory intelligence analysts opened an assessment. This August 2020 assessment served as a vehicle through which the FBI headquarters team falsely tagged Hunter Biden’s information as disinformation you know what, “Grassley said, referring to the Democratic partisans’ claim on the interference. Russian in the elections.
“In October 2020, the closure of a signaling route on Hunter Biden was ordered,” added the Iowa Republican. “That information from Hunter Biden relating to potential criminal activity. According to whistleblowers, the report was verified or verifiable, through criminal search warrants. But it was closed because it was at risk of disinformation “.
Grassley asked Wray about “politically exposed” individuals involved in allegedly improper or illegal foreign financial transactions.
“I’m not asking about a case here. … If the FBI received information that foreign people had evidence of improper or illegal financial payments made to elected officials or other politically exposed persons, would that be a national security problem? ”Grassley asked the FBI director.
Wray stressed that it would have depended on the facts and circumstances of the individual case.
“The type of conduct you are describing is generally something we would like to examine very closely through our efforts against a malicious foreign influence. It starts to fade into a mixture of what we call malicious foreign influence with potentially public corruption, and it’s something we take seriously, ”Wray said.
The hearing came a week after Grassley wrote a letter to Wray and his boss, Attorney General Merrick Garland, about whistleblower reports reporting the FBI’s politicized efforts to crack down on an investigation into Hunter Biden and falsely featuring anything negative about the president’s son such as “Russian misinformation”.
United States Attorney for Delaware David Weiss is conducting an investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign affairs, conducted both while his father was vice president and subsequently. According to recent reports, federal prosecutors are looking into possible tax charges and lies to investigators.
“What steps should the FBI take to check or investigate further evidence of improper or illegal financial payments made to elected officials and other politically exposed individuals?” Grassley asked.
Wray replied: “There may be an evaluation. There may be an investigation. Any number of steps could be taken to ensure that there is no national security risk. ”
To date, the young Biden has not been charged with anything.
During the question-and-answer session between Grassley and Wray, both appeared to advocate for whistleblower protection.
“Do you agree that any retaliatory conduct against whistleblowers should be disciplined?” the Iowa lawmaker said.
Wray replied: “I think the retail conduct against whistleblowers is unacceptable. They play a very, very important role in our system ”.
After information about Hunter Biden’s foreign business activities in Ukraine, Russia, China and other countries surfaced in 2019, two Senate committee chairs at the time, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., On the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Grassley on Judiciary, opened an investigation in 2020.
“In August 2020, Senator Johnson and I received unsolicited and unnecessary information from the FBI. This briefing was reportedly related to our [Hunter] Biden investigation. Ultimately, the briefing has nothing to do with that, “Grassley said, adding:
The briefing was set up after the FBI received pressure from my fellow Democrats to do just that. The content of that briefing [was] it later leaked to falsely portray the Grassley-Johnson investigation as an advancement of Russian you-know-what disinformation.
That briefing was held the same month the FBI opened the assessment that was used to label Hunter Biden’s information as disinformation you know what. Considering the timing of events, the timing is of serious concern. The credibility of the FBI is at stake.
On the contrary, Grassley said, the FBI has given the green light to a lengthy investigation into then-President Donald Trump and “Russian collusion” with his presidential campaign based on scanned evidence. Yet the office shut down a sample of Hunter Biden, he said.
Later in the hearing, Senator Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Asked about the two cases.
“Americans look at what they perceive to be, and I rightly think, a ton of money that was wasted on the investigation into collusion with Russia. So, you agree that the allegation of covert collusion between the president Trump and Russia was a hoax?
Wray replied: “I don’t think that’s the terminology I would use.”
Blackburn then asked, “Do you agree that Hunter Biden’s laptop was not Russian misinformation?”
Wray replied, “You are now asking me about an ongoing investigation that I expect our people to carry out aggressively, and I cannot comment on it.”
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