SEN. GRASSLEY: Government abuse, political treachery scarier than fiction

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Thank you, Chairman Jordan and Ranking Member Plaskett. I appreciate the opportunity to speak today before this select subcommittee.

What I’m about to tell you sounds like it’s out of some fiction spy thriller, but it actually happened. And it happened in our own government.

Congressional oversight is a constitutional demand. I’ve dedicated my career to it. And during the course of my career, I’ve run countless investigations.

In the past few years, I’ve never seen so much effort from the FBI, partisan media and some of my Democratic colleagues to interfere with and undermine very legitimate congressional inquiries. It’s become a triad of disinformation and outright falsehoods.

As one example, look at Crossfire Hurricane.

Bit by bit, piece by piece, it’s been deconstructed and shown to be the politically motivated investigation that it was.

We all know now that it was the Democratic National Committee, along with the Clinton Campaign, who colluded with the Russians. They used a former British spy, Fusion GPS and a law firm to create a fake dossier then tried to cover it up.

The most recent example of this triad at work are efforts against my and Senator Johnson’s ongoing Biden family investigation.

That investigation started on August 14, 2019 – when I was Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee – with a letter I wrote to the Treasury Department. That letter was about a questionable financial transaction subject to the Committee on Foreign Investment that related to a matter involving the Biden family.

As our investigation advanced, Democratic leadership and partisan media began their attack.

This is where that spy thriller starts to heat up.

On July 13, 2020, then-Minority Leader Schumer, Senator Warner, then-Speaker Pelosi and then-Chairman Schiff sent a letter, with a classified attachment, to the FBI. That letter expressed a purported belief that Congress was the subject of a foreign disinformation campaign. The letter was targeted at the Grassley-Johnson investigation.

The classified attachment included unclassified elements that attempted – and failed – to tie our work to a Russian agent named Andriy Derkach.

Unsurprisingly, those unclassified elements were leaked to the press to support a false campaign accusing Senator Johnson and me of relying on material from that Russian agent and then advancing Russian disinformation. It was pure nonsense that the irresponsible media portrayed as the truth.

Then-Chairman Schiff claimed without any evidence whatsoever that our oversight work was rooted in Russian disinformation.

Of course, he conveniently left out that our oversight work was actually rooted in official U.S. Government and Obama administration records.

Senator Blumenthal also wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post accusing our investigation of “perpetuating Russian disinformation in the U.S. Senate.”

And then-Minority Leader Schumer and then-Ranking Member Wyden tried to offer a resolution in the Senate disparaging our Biden investigation. They were basically calling us Russian stooges. They violated the Senate rules in their efforts and, of course, were appropriately shut down.

On July 16, 2020, mere days after the July 13 letter, then-Ranking Members Wyden and Peters wrote a letter to me and Senator Johnson asking for a briefing from the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force. Our staff, and the ranking members’ staff, had already received a briefing in March 2020 that put the issue to rest. So why another briefing?

The point being: there was no real purpose for another briefing, let alone a member-level one, other than to further undermine our investigation. Some of our Democratic colleagues weren’t interested in anything but using the briefing to try and destroy our investigation.

At these Democrats’ insistence, the FBI caved. In August 2020, Senator Johnson and I had that infamous briefing from the FBI. And then, as we had feared, the contents of that briefing were later leaked to the Washington Post even though the FBI had promised us confidentiality.

That leak outrageously and inaccurately connected that FBI briefing to our investigation in another effort to falsely label our good government oversight work as Russian disinformation.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board did the right thing and wrote a piece about that briefing titled, “The FBI’s Dubious Briefing: Did the bureau set up two GOP Senators at the behest of Democrats?”

Simply put, the briefing was unnecessary and completely irrelevant to the substance of our investigation. It was only done because the Democrats wanted it done so they could try and smear us. And the FBI wrongly did their bidding.

To this day, Director Wray refuses to provide Senator Johnson and me – as constitutional officers – records relating to that briefing, including the alleged intelligence basis for it. Director Wray has consistently failed to perform the duties required of his position.

Another example of this Democratic disinformation campaign involved George Kent, a former State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary. Senator Johnson and I ran a transcribed interview with George Kent. Before the interview, Democrats acquired material from that Russian agent that I mentioned earlier. At the interview, Democrats asked Mr. Kent about that material. Mr. Kent said it was disinformation.

Now think about that.

After all the spears the Democrats were throwing at us, in the end it was the Democratswho introduced Russian disinformation from a Russian agent into the investigative record as an exhibit – a foreign agent whom the Intelligence Community warned was actively seeking to influence U.S. politics.

Not me or Senator Johnson. Not our staff. It was the Democrats who inserted disinformation from a Russian into our official record.

The partisan media and Democratic leadership ought to be ashamed of themselves for the fake information that they spread about our investigation.

In the end, they all failed to stop Senator Johnson and me. On September 23, 2020, Senator Johnson and I released our first Biden investigation report. I know there’s been a lot of talk in this town about Treasury records. In that 2020 report, we made public the contents of many Treasury records.

But, we didn’t stop there. We issued another report, November the 18, 2020. Our reports exposed extensive financial relationships between Hunter and James Biden and Chinese nationals connected to the communist regime. More precisely, Chinese nationals connected to the Chinese Government’s military and intelligence services.

Then, Senator Johnson and I transitioned to ranking members. We hadn’t forgotten about what the partisan media, FBI and Democratic leadership did to us. So, we did what any congressional investigator worth their salt would do: We gathered even more records to prove them all wrong.

We acquired authentic bank records that substantiated the findings of our previous two reports. They financially linked Hunter Biden and James Biden to entities and individuals connected with the communist Chinese regime. We also acquired business records with Hunter and James Biden’s signatures alongside those same Chinese nationals.

How were they supposed to be paid? According to bank records, there were wires from companies linked to the communist regime. In three floor speeches, we made those bank records public and asked this question to our partisan detractors: Are these official bank records Russian disinformation?

We also shared hundreds of pages of bank records with U.S. Attorney Weiss. He’s failed to respond.

Now, as our investigation continued, whistleblowers approached my office with allegationsthat the FBI created an assessment in August 2020 – the same month that the FBI briefed me and Senator Johnson. According to these whistleblowers, that assessment was used by FBI Headquarters to improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation. This scheme allegedly caused investigative activity then to entirely cease.

It’s been further alleged to me that in September 2020 – the same month Senator Johnson and I released our first report – those FBI Headquarters personnel began placing their analysis of the credibility of reporting related to the Biden family in a restricted access sub-file.

Further allegations to my office involved FBI personnel at the Washington Field Office who improperly ordered information to be closed by the FBI related to Hunter Biden’s potential criminal conduct in October 2020 – just before the election – even though it was verified or verifiable.

Other whistleblower disclosures to my office make clear that the FBI has within its possession very significant, impactful and voluminous evidence with respect to potential criminal conduct by Hunter and James Biden.

These disclosures also allege that Joe Biden was aware of Hunter Biden’s business arrangements and may have been involved in some of them.

We still aren’t sure what’s been done with this information. The FBI’s track record doesn’t create much faith that the information is going to be followed up on.

It’s clear to me that the Justice Department and FBI are suffering from a political infection that – if it’s not defeated – will cause the American people to no longer trust these storied institutions. It will also threaten our American way of life.

Unfortunately, this story of government abuse and political treachery is scarier than fiction. It really happened. But Mr. Chairman, your committee has an opportunity to help us write the last chapter in this real-life drama.

You must relentlessly pursue the facts and the evidence.

Senator Johnson and I will do the same.

Thank you.


  1. Government abuse as in the billions sent to Ukraine that will only get thousands more Ukrainians killed and possibly get us into a nuclear war? Maybe Grassley should look into what is really happening in Ukraine and how NATO deliberately provoked Russia into war. How about impeaching Biden for blowing up the Nordstream pipeline? Or looking at how Ukraine is using chemical weapons and executing POWs? These are the so-called good guys we are supporting.


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