Senior FBI Official Likely Broke Ethics Rules With Anti-Trump Animus: Grassley

Senior FBI Official Likely Broke Ethics Rules With Anti-Trump Animus: Grassley
Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) speaks in Washington on March 22, 2022. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber
6/1/2022
Updated:
6/1/2022
0:00

A top FBI official appears to have violated ethics guidelines when he made a series of highly partisan posts on social media, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) says.

Timothy Thibault, the assistant special agent-in-charge (ASAC) at the Washington Field Office, shared a post on Twitter that called then-President Donald Trump “a psychologically broken, embittered, and deeply unhappy man,” according to Grassley.

Other posts saw Thibault telling Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) that her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, “was a disgrace” and Thibault liking a post on LinkedIn that claimed then-Attorney General William Barr had “gone rogue” because of his review of the case against onetime Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Thibault has deleted his LinkedIn and locked his Twitter account.

Grassley detailed the posts in letters to Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Thibault likely violated federal regulations and DOJ guidelines with his posts, Grassley said, including FBI social media policies.

“Specifically, as illustrated below, based on a review of open-source content, ASAC Thibault has demonstrated a pattern of active public partisanship, such as using his official title for public partisan posts relating to his superiors and matters under the FBI’s purview, that is likely a violation of his ethical obligations as an FBI employee,” Grassley told Garland and Wray. “Accordingly, his actions present a grave risk of political infection and bias in his official decision-making process, creating serious questions with respect to oversight of investigative matters under his purview.”

Grassley is the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The FBI said it received Grassley’s letter. “Without commenting on any specific personnel matters, all FBI employees are held to the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct. Any allegations of misconduct are taken seriously and referred to the Inspection Division,” a bureau spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email.

Horowitz’s office declined to comment. The DOJ didn’t return an inquiry. Thibault could not be reached.

The pattern of behavior from the official is concerning in light of how he traveled to the Czech Republic in 2016 to attend the same seminar as Bruce Ohr, a government official who handled the anti-Trump dossier, and Nellie Ohr, a Fusion GPS operative who helped compile the dossier, Grassley said.

“These illustrative social media posts call into question ASAC Thibault’s ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of an FBI agent objectively and without bias,” he said.

Grassley demanded information on what action, if any, DOJ leadership has taken to ensure Thibault’s decisions have not been tainted by political bias and asked for details on each investigation Thibault has supervised since 2015, as well as records of all briefings between Wray and Thibault. He also urged Horowitz to launch an investigation into the potential violations.

Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news. Contact Zachary at [email protected]
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