While House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer of Kentucky and FBI Director Christopher Wray were sparring over how much of a certain “Form 1023” may be viewed and by whom, legal analyst Margot Cleveland was working on an expert opinion about what this latest fight means.
As you know, an FBI whistleblower has said this five-or-six-page unclassified document contains a detailed allegation by an FBI confidential human source (CHS) that President Biden, while he was VP, took a $5 million bribe from a foreign national in exchange for certain policy decisions. That’s about as serious as it gets, folks, if Biden really took an out-and-out bribe. There would be no need to get creative and stretch the law to try to “get” him, as we’ve seen done repeatedly to President Trump; bribery is specifically named in the Constitution as an impeachment-worthy offense.
And if this CHS is someone the FBI had used before and considered a reliable source, it’s also incredibly serious if they failed to follow up on allegations of such a serious crime. Their actions following this interview with the CHS that generated a document three years ago are still being kept under wraps. This suggests another reason why they’re defying a congressional subpoena even when it means being found in contempt of Congress. It increasingly looks as though their defiance is not just to protect President Biden --- it’s to protect THEMSELVES.
Cleveland has looked at the big picture and says that “it is the combination of all the details, big and small, that suggests the scandal set to unfold over the coming weeks will be bigger than anyone imagined.”
She’s been able to glean a lot from what Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley has revealed he already knows. In his position as head of the committee that oversees whistleblowers, he would not be making claims unless he knew a whistleblower had made them. And Grassley has said that this CHS is “an apparent trusted FBI source.” The source is not just some guy who walked in off the street and said, “I need to tell you something big about the Vice President.” For him to be trusted enough to be interviewed on-the-record and generate a Form 1023, he must have worked with the FBI before, and they must have found him credible.
Rep. Comer has also revealed some of what he knows. He and Grassley have both said they’ve SEEN the document. Apparently this was a copy, as they are still demanding to see the original, unredacted material. (In an UPDATE late Thursday, Comer is scheduled to go Monday to a secure “SCIF” at FBI headquarters to view it there. But he still wants to charge Wray with contempt of Congress for not physically handing it over.)
Comer has shared the date --- June 30, 2020 --- and the price --- $5 million --- allegedly paid by the foreign national for his “desired policy outcome.” The whistleblower who provided these details had to have some pretty deep knowledge of what the CHS had told investigators, which adds to his own credibility. So his claim that this Form 1023 “includes a precise description of how the alleged criminal scheme was employed as well as its purpose” is not something to take lightly.
As for Comer’s mention of $5 million, that figure has turned up before. As Cleveland mentions, records released by Grassley and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson confirm a payment of $5 million to James and Hunter Biden from a Chinese-connected business. (This wasn’t CEFC, but some other one.) Also, as Cleveland reports, “In a letter to Wray, Attorney General Merrick Garland and U.S. Attorney David Weiss, Grassley had previously revealed a promise by a Chinese communist government-connected enterprise [NOTE: sounds like CEFC] to funnel $5 million to ‘Hunter and James Biden to compensate them for work done while Joe Biden was Vice President.’”
Cleveland has also found significance in the date June 30, 2020, written on the form. In July 2022, Grassley revealed in a letter to Wray that the whistleblower had said that “the FBI developed information in 2020 about Hunter Biden’s criminal financial and related activity” but “that in August 2020, FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten opened an assessment which was used by an FBI Headquarters (‘FBI HQ’) team to improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation and caused investigative activity to cease.”
Remember Auten from Crossfire Hurricane? (The same names turn up over and over.) Cleveland’s timeline goes on: In September 2020, the team that handled the Auten assessment and determined the allegations were “disinformation” placed the information in a “restricted sub-file that only the particular agents who uncovered the CHS’s information could access.”
In other words, they buried it. According to the whistleblower, Auten’s assessment led to the “improper discrediting” of verified information about Hunter. The whistleblower obviously knew enough details about how they handled it to be able to tell Congress. So now, even though Wray is still withholding the Form 1023, Comer and Grassley already know a great deal about what’s on it. And thanks to them, so do we.
Here’s something even worse: Cleveland found wording in Grassley’s letter that, together with the timeline, suggests the “assessment” was actually opened not on Hunter but on the CHS!
Looking further at what was happening in the weeks following the interview with the CHS, it was just two weeks later, on July 13, 2020, that Democrat Sens. Chuck Schumer and Mark Warner, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Rep. Adam Schiff sent a letter to the FBI warning that Congress was being subjected to a foreign disinformation campaign. On July 16, ranking members of two congressional committees asked the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force --- which had also handled the “assessment” of the Biden intel and called THAT “disinformation” --- to give them a defensive briefing. News of that briefing, of course, was leaked to the press, and “Russia!” hysteria was soon everywhere.
Cleveland has put more together, such as hints from Grassley’s letters and statements that the FBI even buried a recording that implicates the Biden family in a criminal enterprise. She has much more detail on this in her piece.
It’s important to mention that generally, when someone in politics “hints” at this or that, it’s best to maintain some skepticism. We like to use the “48-hour rule” in cases like that, or even the “72-hour rule.” But when Sen. Grassley talks about whistleblowers, you can likely take that to the bank.
As Cleveland writes, “...What should be clear to all now is that the whistleblower knows where the evidence is buried --- and Grassley and Comer have brought their shovels.”
In a townhall meeting Thursday on HANNITY, President Trump, appearing in person, had harsh words for the weaponization of the FBI and the lies President Biden has told about his family business.
“[The Bidens] are being protected and it’s a one-sided system, it’s a very unfair system,” Trump said, citing that fact that Joe is ON VIDEO bragging about withholding a billion dollars to get the Ukrainian prosecutor fired. Trump also noted they couldn’t have impeached him without hiding what was on Hunter’s laptop. “You can’t have law and order in a country where you have such corruption,” he said.
Of this Form 1023, he wondered, “How bad can this document be??” He praised Comer, as well as House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, for doing “a fantastic job.” As for the off-putting (for some) way he pushes back, he cited the corruption in DC and said, “If I wasn’t tough --- if I didn’t fight back, I wouldn’t be here now.”
RELATED: FOX NEWS reported Thursday that Hunter Biden’s top DC legal team, still maintaining its hyper- aggressive stance, has deposed computer repair expert John Paul Mac Isaac. Hunter is now suing him for invasion of privacy. If you haven’t yet read Mac Isaac’s book, it provides good insight into what he’s been through.
In an update to our story yesterday, the National Archives is still refusing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by America First Legal for communications between Hunter and his father’s staff, saying these communications are exempted from FOIA. They released a batch of them but are keeping others. Still, just the ones we’ve seen show how coordinated father and son were on foreign trips and meetings while Joe was in office.
We’ll wrap this up with Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, explaining why our ‘justice’ system in its current state is “irredeemable.”