Grassley Challenges Recently Retired FBI Agent to Explain His Role in Hunter Biden Probes

Grassley Challenges Recently Retired FBI Agent to Explain His Role in Hunter Biden Probes
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, at the panel’s hearing in Washington on Dec. 12, 2018. (Jennifer Zeng/The Epoch Times)
Mark Tapscott
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) challenged former FBI Assistant Special Agent Timothy Thibault during a Sept. 7 Senate floor speech to sit for an on-the-record interview to answer questions about his role in the bureau's review of Hunter Biden's laptop and investigations of former President Donald Trump.

"Thibault said that he 'welcomes any investigation' into the allegations against him. Well, Mr. Thibault, come on in," Grassley said in closing his speech. "Sit for a transcribed interview with me and my colleagues."

Thibault hasn't responded to the senator's challenge, a spokesman for Grassley told The Epoch Times.

Neither the public relations agency that represents the firm representing Thibault, nor the firm's public relations manager responded to The Epoch Times' request for comment.

Thibault, who retired in August, is the central figure in a growing controversy regarding the FBI's handling of a laptop owned by President Joe Biden's son that was left with a Delaware computer repair shop in 2019, as well as other information about the Biden family's overseas business dealings.

Grassley, who is the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the ranking GOP member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, charge that Thibault's personal political bias interfered with FBI work regarding Trump and Hunter Biden.

Thibault's attorneys previously denied to The Epoch Times that their client acted improperly in any matter. They also said Thibault's retirement was voluntary and not a result of anything connected with the Bidens.

The computer shop's owner turned the laptop over to the FBI after finding on it multiple images of Hunter Biden using illegal drugs and engaging in sexual acts with prostitutes, as well as information concerning relationships and contacts with shadowy business and government interests in Ukraine, China, and elsewhere.

The laptop's contents were first reported during the 2020 presidential campaign by the New York Post, but Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other social media outlets censored the newspaper's reporting after a group of intelligence community figures claimed that information on the Biden device bore the characteristics of "Russian disinformation."
The laptop was subsequently authenticated by The New York Times and other media outlets. A post-election survey of 1,000 2020 presidential voters for the Media Research Center (MRC) found that nearly 5 percent of those who said they voted for Biden would have changed their vote had they known about the laptop.

In his Senate speech, Grassley made clear that he wants to question Thibault regarding allegations by FBI whistleblowers about "investigative activity and avenues of information that originated separate from the ongoing Hunter Biden criminal probe" being conducted by the U.S. Attorney in Delaware.

"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," Grassley said.

"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," he continued.

"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," Grassley added.

"Since the information and activity was shut down, it wouldn’t have initially been shared with any ongoing criminal probe," Grassley further pointed out. "That calls into question what U.S. Attorney [David] 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."

The Iowa Republican said he has asked FBI Director Christopher Wray “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?”

Wray hasn't responded, Grassley told colleagues during his floor speech.

If all of the information hasn't been shared with the multiple FBI probes, he said, "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?"

Grassley acknowledged that "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."

Grassley reminded colleagues of a joint letter that he and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) sent to Wray in March, in which they expressed concern about an audit that uncovered evidence of such abuse.

“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,” Grassley said, citing his letter with Durbin.

"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," Grassley continued, from the letter.

"I fear that’s just the tip of the iceberg," Grassley told his Senate colleagues.

Mark Tapscott is an award-winning investigative editor and reporter who covers Congress, national politics, and policy for The Epoch Times. Mark was admitted to the National Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Hall of Fame in 2006 and he was named Journalist of the Year by CPAC in 2008. He was a consulting editor on the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Pulitzer Prize-winning series “Other Than Honorable” in 2014.