Former President Donald Trump was indicted on the same day FBI Director Christopher Wray caved to House Republicans and allowed members of the Oversight Committee to view an agency document demanded by the GOP.
The document, an unclassified FD-1023 form, is said to implicate President Joe Biden in a criminal bribery scheme from his time as vice president. According to Republican lawmakers who viewed the document in a secure room on Capitol Hill, the document from a credible confidential informant contains evidence President Biden took a $5 million-dollar bribe from a “foreign national.” That foreign national, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley says, is an executive at Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that showered Hunter Biden on the board in excess compensation.
“According to the 1023, the foreign national possesses 15 audio recordings of phone calls between him and Hunter Biden,” Grassley said on the Senate floor Monday, with 17 recordings in “total.”
Grassley’s bombshell floor speech brought the Biden bribery scandal back into the news cycle after FBI officials sought to suppress coverage of the scheme with Trump’s second indictment. Biden’s Republican predecessor and lead contender for the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination surrendered to federal officials Tuesday, giving Biden something in common with Russian President Vladimir Putin: both of their chief political opponents are under arrest.
Was last week’s timing a coincidence? Not if you see the latest episode in the arrest-Trump movement for what it is: the natural continuation of the failed Russia hoax eight years ago.
Brinkmanship For Biden
FBI Director Wray was on the cusp of contempt charges last week when the agency chief relented to House Republicans and brought the requested document to Capitol Hill for every member of the Oversight Committee to review.
A whistleblower first revealed the existence of the document to Senator Grassley and House Oversight Chairman James Comer of Kentucky more than a month ago. The pair of top GOP lawmakers issued a subpoena for the unclassified form on May 3.
“We believe the FBI possesses an unclassified internal document that includes very serious and detailed allegations implicating the current President of the United States,” Grassley said. “What we don’t know is what, if anything, the FBI has done to verify these claims or investigate further. The FBI’s recent history of botching politically charged investigations demands close congressional oversight.”
Wray initially refused lawmakers’ request and withheld the document from Capitol Hill. In a six-page letter to Congress, the bureau argued the document was insignificant and that disclosure would compromise “confidential human” informants.
If Comer wanted to see it, the agency later said, he would have to travel to the FBI headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue.
“Anything short of producing these documents to the House Oversight Committee is not in compliance with the subpoena,” Comer warned in May.
The FBI director then allowed Comer to review the document with Maryland Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin, the ranking member on the Oversight Committee, in a Capitol SCIF.
Raskin tried to dismiss Republican accusations with a statement alleging the investigation had been shut down under Attorney General Bill Barr during the Trump administration. In an exclusive interview with The Federalist, however, the former attorney general debunked Raskin’s claims.
“On the contrary,” Barr said, “it was sent to Delaware for further investigation.”
Comer moved forward with contempt proceedings after reviewing the FD-1023 when the agency refused to release the document. The House Oversight Chairman canceled the resolution to hold Wray in contempt on Wednesday, June 7, on the eve of Trump’s indictment. The contempt resolution was abandoned when Wray allowed the rest of the Oversight Committee to review the document.
In other words, Wray ran out the clock as the Justice Department prepared to issue the first-ever federal indictment of a former president.
Document Shows Exactly What Grassley, Comer Said It Would
Wray attempted to bury the news in Trump’s indictment as Comer previewed the blockbuster allegations that would surface from the FBI record. Once members of the Oversight Committee emerged from the SCIF on Capitol Hill, GOP lawmakers confirmed the document as the bombshell Comer and Grassley said it was.
Republican Reps. Byron Donalds of Florida and Andy Biggs of Arizona told NBC News the allegations were legitimate and said the human source for the document has been on FBI payroll for years.
Florida Republican Rep. Anna Paulina Luna said the document was grounds for impeachment.
“It’s very likely this president is going to be impeached — and by that I mean Joe Biden,” Luna said.
Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert spoke directly to millions with a video published on social media after she reviewed the record.
“This document memorialized the testimony of a trustworthy whistleblower who worked for the FBI for over a decade,” Boebert said.
On Monday, Grassley suggested more will come out with 17 recordings kept by Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky “as a sort of insurance policy.”
“I want everyone to remember that I have read the unredacted version,” Grassley said on the Senate floor.
[RELATED COVERAGE: 3 Potential Scandals Plaguing The FBI-Biden Bribe Saga]
Trump, meanwhile, is now undergoing trial for alleged mishandling of classified documents despite President Biden having harbored classified information across several locations from his time as vice president. Senate Republicans endorsed the political prosecution with silence, while House Republicans condemned the indictment as a partisan witch hunt.