“It’s not true. It wasn’t closed down,” William Barr told The Federalist on Tuesday in response to Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin’s claim that the former attorney general and his “handpicked prosecutor” had ended an investigation into a confidential human source’s allegation that Joe Biden had agreed to a $5 million bribe. “On the contrary,” Barr stressed, “it was sent to Delaware for further investigation.”
Former Attorney General Barr went on the record with The Federalist following statements Raskin made to the press Monday afternoon. Soon after attending a closed-door meeting with House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer and the FBI — at which lawmakers reviewed the FD-1023 form summarizing a CHS’s detailed allegations that then-Vice President Joe Biden agreed to accept money from a foreign national to affect policy decisions — Raskin spoke to the media.
“What I learned,” Raskin claimed, “was that Attorney General Barr named Scott Brady, who was the U.S. attorney for Western Pennsylvania, to head up a group of prosecutors who would look into all the allegations related to Ukraine.”
“After Rudy Giuliani surfaced these allegations,” Raskin continued, Brady’s team looked into the FD-1023 and “in August determined that there was no grounds to escalate from an initial assessment to a preliminary investigation,” and so “they called an end to the investigation.”
The Maryland Democrat then reiterated his claim that this was “under Attorney General William Barr and his handpicked prosecutor Mr. Brady, who was a Trump appointee.” “They were the ones who decided” there were no further grounds for investigation, Raskin’s claimed, adding: “If there is a complaint, it is with Attorney General William Barr, the Trump Justice Department, and the team that the Trump administration appointed to look into it.”
Raskin would then double down on his claim that it was Barr and Brady who closed down the investigation, issuing a press release saying that in August 2020, Barr and his “hand-picked U.S. Attorney” signed off on closing an assessment into the FD-1023 form that memorialized the CHS’s claims.
But that’s just not true, according to the former attorney general. Instead, the confidential human source’s claims detailed in the FD-1023 were sent to the Delaware U.S. attorney’s office for further investigation, according to Barr.
That, however, was just one of Raskin’s deceptions: The ranking member of the House Oversight Committee also falsely suggested the CHS’s allegations were related to the investigation of information Rudy Giuliani had unearthed of the Biden family corruption in Ukraine.
Not so, according to an individual familiar with the investigation who told The Federalist that the CHS and the FD-1023 summary of his statement were both “unrelated to Rudy Giuliani” and “not derived” from any information Giuliani provided. This corroborates the House Oversight Committee’s representation that the June 30, 2020, FD-1023 “stands on its own” and was not part of the documents Giuliani provided the FBI in January 2020.
In fact, according to the House Oversight Committee, the FD-1023 in question “contains information from the FBI’s confidential human source dating back to another FD-1023 generated in 2017,” which completely removes Giuliani from the mix.
Raskin’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Two Huge Scandals
These new revelations prove significant for two reasons. First, there’s the underlying scandal of the FBI’s alleged failure to investigate the FD-1023 and FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten’s opening of an assessment in August 2020 to discredit that information, which “caused investigative activity to cease.”
Knowing that the FD-1023 originated in Brady’s Western District of Pennsylvania proves explosive because Grassley’s whistleblower alleged that in September 2020, FBI headquarters placed the information contained in Auten’s assessment in a restricted-access sub-file that only the particular agents who uncovered the CHS’s info could access. How then could the FBI agents in Delaware further investigate the allegations?
And those allegations, further detailed by Comer on Tuesday, are shocking. “A trusted confidential human source obtained information from a foreign national who claimed to have bribed then-Vice President Biden,” Comer told The Federalist. So the CHS didn’t just pass on information from some random third party: He spoke directly with the individual who claimed to have bribed Biden.
FBI headquarters branding that information as “disinformation” without undertaking an appropriate investigation is outrageous — especially since the Delaware U.S. attorney’s office was directed to further investigate the FD-1023.
The second scandal is equally as large because it reaches the top of the FBI: Director Christopher Wray.
Wray may well have been in the dark about FBI headquarters falsely labeling the FD-1023 as misinformation and secreting it away from other agents. But framing the intel from the “highly credible” longtime FBI CHS as coming from Giuliani reeks of a cover-up. And suggesting that Barr and Brady closed down an investigation into the FD-1023 when it was instead sent to Delaware for further investigation is a cover-up.
“The more the FBI leak and coverup machine spins for President Biden, the worse the bureau looks,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told The Federalist upon learning of Barr’s statement. “Enough is enough. It’s past time for the FBI to come clean and show their work if they have any hope of salvaging their own credibility.”
Comer went further, telling The Federalist, “The FBI is attempting a coverup, and Democrats are doing their bidding by lying to the American people.”
“The FBI must produce this record to the House Oversight Committee’s custody,” Comer continued, and “if not, we will take action on Thursday to hold Director Wray in contempt of Congress.”
Given Barr’s statement, that should be the least of Wray’s concerns.
Mollie Hemingway contributed to this report.