- The Washington Times
Tuesday, August 2, 2022

OPINION:

The FBI’s alliance with the Democratic Party has reached new heights with the assertion by two Republican senators that the bureau set them up for fake-news press stories about their groundbreaking Hunter Biden disclosures.

FBI whistleblowers have been contacting Republican lawmakers for months, a career-risking campaign that shows the grassroots outside the 7th Floor are in revolt. Their target is the FBI’s elitist left-wing headquarters overseen by Director Christopher Wray since August 2017. 


The bureau’s hierarchy has developed in recent years a particular distaste for Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. This animus dates back well before July’s stunning whistleblower disclosures of corruption: Headquarters sabotaged a probe of Hunter Biden (Grassley statement), and it directed field offices to make up statistics for domestic violent extremism threats (Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio statement). Over a dozen FBI employees have contacted Mr. Jordan’s ranking Judiciary Committee office since November. 

Both the Hunter blocking and DVE padding are in complete lockstep with the FBI’s political master, President Biden. Hunter is the son; domestic threats fit Mr. Biden’s constant assertions about dangerous Trump supporters, although what they have been attacking and killing day in, day out is unclear. 

Hunter is not the only Biden offspring to get FBI help. Ashley Biden, the president’s daughter, left her intimate diary at a “halfway house” in Palm Beach, Florida, the Daily Mail reported. The document circulated in conservative circles until it reached undercover journalist James O’Keefe and his Project Veritas. The FBI promptly raided his home, in force. Whether the bureau wants him criminally charged and what the crime would be is still unclear. But a missing personal diary is now a potential federal crime for a guy who uncovers — first hand, on hidden camera — liberal bias in the news media.

And still in Republican memory is the FBI 7th floor’s classification of “suicide by cop” for Sen. Bernie Sanders supporter James Hodgkinson. He loaded up for a massacre of practicing GOP ball players on a baseball diamond in 2017. Only the immediate actions of two Capitol Police officers stopped him. After Republican outrage, Mr. Wray changed the attack to domestic terrorism. 

Of course, the FBI-Democratic Party uber-alliance is the Christopher Steele dossier. Democrats funded the dossier, and their operatives spread the smut all over town, including deep inside the bureau.

Under Director James Comey and Deputy Andrew McCabe, the bureau fell in love with the 2016 collection of falsehoods about Mr. Trump and his aides. So deep was the love that Mr. Comey insisted the intelligence community, which dubbed the dossier “internet rumor,” include its claims in the January 2017 official government paper on Russian election interference. As a compromise, they added it to the appendix.

In 2019, the Department of Justice inspector general wrote a scathing report on the whole FBI dossier affair. 

Mr. Jordan has unearthed two other FBI nuggets from whistleblowers in addition to the fake DVE reporting. 

In a May 11 letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Mr. Jordan said the FBI has granted another Biden priority by targeting school kids’ parents as domestic terror threats. 

Mr. Jordan told Mr. Garland that by October, based on the AG’s own directive, FBI counterintelligence and criminal divisions created a new threat tag: “EDUOFFICIALS.”

“We have learned from brave whistleblowers that the FBI has opened investigations with the EDUOFFICIALS threat tag in almost every region of the country and relating to all types of educational settings,” the congressman wrote. “The information we have received shows how, as a direct result of your directive, federal law enforcement is using counterterrorism resources to investigate protected First Amendment activity.”

In May and June letters to Mr. Wray, Mr. Jordan disclosed the other nugget: The FBI has retaliated against employees who express conservative views. 

He told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham of a “Decorated Iraq war veteran being run out of the FBI. His allegiance to the country is being questioned because he had the gall to say something that offended the FBI leadership about the January 6th investigation.”

This narrative gets us to the setup — a remarkable allegation from Mr. Grassley and Mr. Johnson that the FBI created a purposeless August 2020 private briefing as a way to sabotage their Hunter Biden work.

Did the FBI hold a grudge against the two? The senators were instrumental in winning the declassification of footnotes in the 2019 IG report. The disclosure: The FBI had been warned that the dossier on which it relied contained deliberate Kremlin disinformation. 

That August, as then-President Donald Trump and Mr. Biden squared off, the two senators were a month away from issuing an explosive report on Hunter Biden’s finances — how he collected millions of dollars from shady Chinese tycoons, and Moscow and Ukraine oligarchs. The New York Post was two months away from breaking the story of Hunter’s abandoned laptop stocked with financial records, porn, emails and texts. His messages told of how he shares proceeds with the elder Biden.

Before the Grassley-Johnson report came out, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer smeared their inquiry by alleging it relied on Russian disinformation. He and other Democrats had been briefed by the same FBI unit that discredited evidence against Hunter Biden, who today remains under investigation by the U.S. attorney for Delaware.

Then, the FBI’s 7th floor showed up to provide the closed August 2020 briefing. Thinking back, the two senators now contend it was a setup to feed the news media inaccurate stories about what was said.

In a July 25 letter to Mr. Garland, Mr. Grassley singled out Brian Auten, a supervisory intelligence analyst at headquarters, who that very month began dismissing Hunter Biden evidence of wrongdoing as disinformation. The FBI whistleblowers told Mr. Grassley’s staff that all the evidence of criminality was either verified or could be backed up by search warrants. By then, the FBI had taken ownership of, and presumably exploited, the Hunter laptop for eight months. 

“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 to paint the investigation in a false light,” Mr. Grassley told Mr. Garland. “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.”

“We had that briefing and it was a setup,” Mr. Johnson told Fox News’ “Unfiltered with Dan Bongino.”

Mr. Biden’s pick of Mr. Garland for attorney general was a savvy move. Mr. Garland knows who kept him off the Supreme Court — Republican senators blocked his nomination in 2016.

If Mr. Wray has an appetite for reforming FBI headquarters based on the 2019 IG report, and more recent scandals, his moves have yet to materialize in public.

On Tuesday, the FBI provided me with a statement after being asked to respond to Mr. Grassley.

“The men and women of the FBI work hard every day to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution.  All employees are held to the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct, and we expect them to focus on process, rigor, and objectivity in performance of their duties,” the FBI said. “Allegations of misconduct are taken seriously and referred to the Inspection Division or appropriate investigative body.  In reality, the FBI is comprised of 37,000 employees who do it the right way on a daily basis to keep our nation safe by fighting violent crime, preventing terrorist attacks and defending America from espionage and cyber threats.”

• Rowan Scarborough is a columnist with The Washington Times.


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