A Delaware assistant U.S. attorney was briefed in October 2020 that a confidential human source (CHS) had reported Hunter and Joe Biden each received $5 million in bribes, Sen. Chuck Grassley revealed Sunday in a letter to Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss. A source familiar with that briefing has now confirmed to The Federalist that the Pittsburgh office told the Delaware office the CHS’s reporting appeared credible and merited further investigation. That added detail increases the significance of Grassley’s Sunday letter and his question to Weiss about whether his deputy thwarted the investigation.
“On October 23, 2020, Justice Department and FBI Special Agents from the Pittsburgh Field Office briefed Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf, one of your top prosecutors, and FBI Special Agents from the Baltimore Field Office with respect to the contents of the FBI-generated FD-1023 alleging a criminal bribery scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and Hunter Biden,” Grassley’s letter said. “What steps have the Justice Department and FBI taken to investigate the allegations?” the Iowa senator asked before noting his concerns about Wolf’s involvement.
Grassley then highlighted the numerous ways Wolf appeared to have obstructed the investigation into Hunter Biden’s potentially criminal business activities. “IRS whistleblowers have affirmed that AUSA Wolf prevented investigators from seeking information about Joe Biden’s involvement in Hunter Biden’s criminal business arrangements,” Grassley said, adding that she also “frustrated investigative efforts” by the IRS agents to question Hunter Biden’s business partner, Rob Walker, about Joe Biden.
Wolf also refused to allow agents to search Joe Biden’s guest house, even though there was “more than enough probable cause,” and she prevented investigators from searching a storage unit used by the now-president’s son, the letter said. In fact, Grassley stressed, Wolf alerted Hunter Biden’s lawyers to the investigators’ interest in the storage unit.
Given what Grassley called Wolf’s “questionable and obstructive conduct,” he asked Weiss whether Wolf had taken “similar proactive measures to frustrate any investigation into the FD-1023.” Grassley also probed Weiss’s knowledge of the accusations leveled against Wolf and how he has handled them. From Grassley’s questions, he seems to believe Wolf knows whether the DOJ buried evidence that Joe and Hunter Biden received bribes from the Ukrainian oil and gas company Burisma.
Former Attorney General William Barr had previously confirmed that the FD-1023 summary of the CHS’s intel had been sent to the Delaware U.S. attorney’s office for further investigation, following then-Pittsburgh U.S. Attorney Scott Brady’s conclusion that the reporting was not Russian disinformation. Barr later also said the Delaware office had been briefed on the FD-1023 material. Until now, however, it was unclear who had received that information.
Knowing that Wolf and FBI special agents from the Baltimore field office received a briefing on the contents of the FD-1023 allows congressional oversight committees to probe precisely who investigated the CHS’s allegations and how — or if not, why. Did Wolf direct agents to disregard the FD-1023? Did anyone else? If so, why? Who was involved in the decision? Who knew of the decision?
While we do not know the answers to those questions yet, we do know from the Internal Revenue Service whistleblowers that they were not informed of the FD-1023. As Grassley noted in his letter, the IRS agents were excluded from the meeting with the Pittsburgh field office. We also know from the IRS whistleblowers’ congressional testimony and supplemental statements that they first learned of the FD-1023 when Barr publicly stated the information had been sent to Delaware for further investigation.
Who decided to exclude the IRS agents from the meeting? Who decided to keep them in the dark about the FD-1023 and the information contained in it? Was anyone from the Baltimore field office adequately skilled to investigate the CHS’s reporting? As members of the IRS’s International Tax and Financial Crimes group, both the IRS whistleblowers working with the Delaware U.S. attorney’s office were. So why were they cut out of the case?
Following the release of Grassley’s letter, a source familiar with the Delaware briefing told The Federalist that in addition to summarizing the contents of the FD-1023, the Pittsburgh office requested the FBI provide FD-1023 access to the Delaware U.S. attorney’s office and the agents out of the Baltimore field office working on the case. The Pittsburgh office also told Wolf and the FBI agents present during the briefing that the information contained in the FD-1023 bore indicia of credibility and they recommended it be further investigated.
But was it investigated? Grassley asked precisely that question to Weiss.
The Iowa senator also asked Weiss when he became aware of the October 2020 briefing and why the IRS agents were excluded from that meeting. Grassley further inquired of the Delaware U.S. attorney whether the scope of the “alleged ‘ongoing investigation’ include[s] criminal bribery with respect to the alleged criminal scheme between a foreign national and then-Vice President Biden and Hunter Biden?”
In posing these questions, Grassley noted that from information provided to his office, “potentially hundreds of Justice Department and FBI officials have had access to the FD-1023 at issue.” This comment proves intriguing because in an earlier letter, Grassley had noted that in August 2020, FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten had opened an assessment that FBI headquarters used in September 2020 to falsely label derogatory information about Hunter Biden as disinformation. According to Grassley’s letter, the FBI HQ team then “placed their findings with respect to whether reporting was disinformation in a restricted access sub-file reviewable only by the particular agents responsible for uncovering the specific information.”
Grassley’s recent comment suggests that contrary to the earlier assumption, it may have been other derogatory information labeled misinformation and not the FD-1023. Or possibly the FD-1023 had been at one time restricted and then made more broadly available.
But if it wasn’t the FD-1023 that Auten buried, that means there was even more derogatory information about Hunter Biden that the FBI failed to investigate. What was that information?
Grassley’s letter may raise more questions than it answers, but it also establishes the senator is nearing the end of the trail that leads to the individuals responsible for deciding to — or not to — investigate the FD-1023 and the allegations that the now-president of the United States accepted a $5 million bribe from a corrupt Ukrainian.