Grassley: Thibault Resignation And Media Misreporting

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Last week, while I was meeting with constituents in Iowa, news broke about Assistant Special Agent in Charge Tim Thibault’s retirement.
Since May 31st of this year, I’ve highlighted Thibault’s partisan bias and how it infected major FBI investigations.
That included a July 18th letter of this year that highlighted his role in opening a criminal investigation into Trump’s campaign and advisors.
That investigation is the elector investigation that’s been in the news.
For example, on July 26th of this year, the Washington Post reported on that very same Trump investigation.
However, the Post failed to note that Thibault was a prime mover in opening it.
The Post failed to note that Thibault predicated it in substantial part on liberal news articles and information derived from a liberal non-profit.
Attorney General Garland and Director Wray approved a full investigation anyway, which was contrary to standard procedure.
That Post article appeared one day after I made the Trump investigation letter public.
Since Thibault’s exit from the FBI, I’ve noticed more news articles and reporting that hasn’t been accurate with respect to the allegations that I’ve made public.
Let me take this opportunity to correct the record with respect to that inaccurate reporting.
Some reports have noted that the Hunter Biden criminal probe is ongoing, therefore how can the allegations of Thibault shutting down investigative activity relating to Hunter Biden be credible?
The whistleblower disclosures to me relate to investigative activity and avenues of information that originated separate from the ongoing Hunter Biden criminal probe.
That’s why the allegations I’ve brought forward are so important – we’re dealing with a separate category of potentially criminal information relating to Hunter Biden that the FBI has within its possession.
And, the information received by the FBI was either verified or verifiable.
Even so, based on allegations, the investigative activity was shut down by Thibault and others based on the false assertion that it was disinformation.
To be precise, FBI officials wanted to take action with respect to this separate investigative information the FBI had in its possession relating to Hunter Biden.
However, Thibault blocked them from doing what would normally be done.
Accordingly, the investigative activity and information couldn’t be advanced as it should’ve been.
Which means the FBI could’ve gathered more evidence with respect to Hunter Biden but cut bait instead.
And the FBI and Thibault cut bait right before the 2020 presidential election.
Since the information and activity was shut down, it wouldn’t have initially been shared with any ongoing criminal probe.
That calls into question what U.S. Attorney Weiss is actually investigating. It also calls into question what the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office is reviewing and whether it’s the full scope of evidence.
I’ve asked Director Wray about that. I asked him, “How can verified and verifiable information relating to Hunter Biden’s potential criminality be shared with U.S. Attorney Weiss if it is shut down?”
No answer from Director Wray.
At the Judiciary Committee’s August 4th oversight hearing, Director Wray said that it’s his expectation that such information would be shared with relevant offices. So, Director Wray, what have you done to ensure that your expectation has been met?
Because of Director Wray’s failure to answer, Congress is unaware of whether or not the FBI has finally shared full and complete information and investigative activity with any ongoing criminal probe.
Therefore, without additional transparency from the government, there’s a very real chance the Hunter Biden criminal probe doesn’t include the full evidentiary picture.
How can the American people trust the results?
Some have also questioned how an Assistant Special Agent in Charge like Thibault can have so much power to open and close investigative activity.
Well, that’s exactly what he did. And that power is often abused within the FBI.
For example, on March 28th of this year, Chairman Durbin and I wrote a letter to the FBI about an audit.
That audit showed widespread violations of internal policies designed to ensure proper handling of the FBI’s most sensitive investigations.
To read from my letter with Chairman Durbin, “The FBI reviewed 353 Sensitive Investigative Matters – just under half of all such matters that were pending during this 18-month review period – and identified 747 violations.”
In 45 investigations, the FBI didn’t conduct or document a legal review prior to opening it.
In 40 investigations, the FBI officials who opened a sensitive investigative matter didn’t obtain approval from the relevant Special Agent in Charge or Assistant Special Agent in Charge.
I fear that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
In conclusion, let’s look at Thibault’s recent statement and the allegations that he didn’t address:
First, he didn’t address his role in opening a Trump investigation based on liberal news articles and information derived from a liberal non-profit.
Second, he didn’t address his collaboration with Richard Pilger with respect to that investigation.
Third, he didn’t address efforts to water-down the Trump investigation memo sent to Attorney General Garland and Director Wray which they ultimately approved.
Fourth, he didn’t address the shutting down of investigative activity and avenues of information relating to Hunter Biden.
Fifth, he didn’t address the alleged criminality within the information provided to the FBI about Hunter Biden.
Sixth, he didn’t address the August 2020 assessment opened by Brian Auten that was used to falsely label Hunter Biden information as disinformation.
Seventh, he didn’t address his actions to try and improperly mark investigative closings so that they couldn’t be opened in the future.
Lastly, Thibault said that he “welcomes any investigation” into the allegations against him.
Well, Mr. Thibault, come on in.
Sit for a transcribed interview with me and my colleagues.


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