Whistleblowers say FBI procedures weren’t followed in Hunter Biden investigation

Several Justice Department whistleblowers have come forward to Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley as part of his ongoing investigation into Biden family business practices, according to three sources familiar with the matter, including a former Justice Department tax official. .

The sources told CBS News that the whistleblower disclosures raised concerns about the Hunter Biden surveywith allegations such as the “irregular handling” of evidence and a claim that “standard investigative procedures were not followed” which allegedly hampered the progress of the investigation.

Specifically, whistleblowers said that during the FBI investigation, derogatory evidence about President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was wrongly labeled as misinformation, when it could be or had already been verified. In some cases, they claimed that derogatory evidence was placed in highly restricted systems that prevented other FBI investigators from reviewing it in their related work.

In response to CBS News, the FBI said it had no comment. A spokesperson for Grassley said the senator has “a long history of protecting whistleblowers … regardless of political ideology,” and added that his investigation into the Biden family’s foreign business dealings — qu began in 2019 in his capacity as a then-ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee – “continues to provide new information”.

Some of the more recent disclosures relate to a FBI form known as FD 1023. In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland in early May, Grassley — now a ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee — and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, said they wanted to know what information, if any, the FBI has about an alleged corruption scheme involving President Biden. At the time, the White House accused lawmakers of launching a “baseless political attack.”

In the letter to Wray and Garland, GOP lawmakers asked about Form FD-1023, an internal FBI document they say describes “an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national regarding the exchange of money for policies”. the decisions.”

Grassley and Comer said a whistleblower provided information about the alleged scheme, and Comer issued a subpoena to Wray for the form.

In their letter, the GOP lawmakers said they believed there was enough “specificity” in the allegation to determine whether it was true, but “it remains unclear what measures, if any, have been taken to investigate the matter”.

In a letter to Comer dated May 10, responding to the subpoena, Christopher Dunham, acting deputy director of the FBI’s Office of Congressional Affairs, wrote that FD-1023 is a “form used to record unverified reports from a confidential human source”.

Dunham wrote that “the FBI regularly receives information from sources with significant potential biases, motivations, and knowledge, including drug traffickers, members of organized crime, or even terrorists.”

“It is essential to the integrity of the entire criminal justice process and to the performance of our law enforcement duties that the FBI avoid disclosing information – including unverified or incomplete information – that could interfere with investigations,” Dunham said.

“Thus, your request for a single FD-1023 report that you claim includes an ‘accurate description’ of an ‘alleged criminal plan’ risks the harms our privacy rules protect against,” he continued. .

“…We would be happy to coordinate with your staff to discuss if and how we can fulfill your request without violating our law enforcement and national security obligations,” Dunhmam’s letter concludes.

Ian Sams, the White House Spokesman for Oversight and Investigations, also said in response to the GOP letter, “For five years now, Republicans in Congress have been launching baseless, unproven, and motivated attacks. policy against the president and his family without offering evidence of their claims or evidence of decisions influenced by anything other than American interests.”

He added: “When it comes to President Biden’s personal finances, anyone can take a look: he has offered an unprecedented level of transparency, releasing a total of 25 years of tax returns to the public. American.”

A GOP aide told CBS News that Grassley had previously scheduled a call for Wednesday with Comer and Wray about the subpoena for FD-1023. The FBI informed Comer on Tuesday that it would not disclose it to the committee.

Comer released a statement saying, “While I have a scheduled call with FBI Director Wray tomorrow to further discuss his response, the committee has been clear in its intent to protect congressional oversight authorities and will now take steps to hold the FBI Director in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a lawful subpoena.”

The FBI also said in a statement that the bureau had written to Comer and said it “is committed to providing access to information in response to the Committee’s subpoena in a format and framework that maintains confidentiality and protect important security interests and the integrity of FBI investigations.” The FBI added, “Any discussion of escalation under these circumstances is unnecessary.”

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