(July 27) Major problems at a heavily politicized FBI predated the June 2017 ascension of Christopher Wray to the bureau’s directorship, but Wray has no excuse for failing to fix them in the five years since.

If there is truth to even a significant portion of the allegations in a July 25 letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland, a corrupt subculture continues to exist, without effective rebuke, in some major ranks of the FBI. Grassley wrote that numerous whistleblower reports indicate Timothy Thibault, the assistant special agent in charge of the Washington field office, along with Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten, and others, combined to help cover up apparent “derogatory information connected to Hunter Biden,” the now-president’s son.

Grassley says Auten and others falsely labeled the Biden material as “disinformation,” presumably of Russian origin, and that Thibault not only ordered inquiries into other derogatory information about the younger Biden closed, quite wrongly, but also “attempted to improperly mark the matter in FBI systems so that it could not be opened in the future.”

Auten already had made significant errors that contributed to the bogus allegations that then-candidate Donald Trump had conspired with Russian agents to help him win the 2016 presidential election. And Grassley in May had accused Thibault, completely apart from the Biden matter, of “likely violations of Federal laws, regulations, and [FBI] guidelines … based on a pattern of active public partisanship in his then-public social media content.” Grassley also said these agents or others deliberately tried to undermine ongoing Senate investigations, led by Grassley, into numerous suspicious activities of Hunter Biden and other Biden family members….

[later in the piece…] … What’s worse is that the alleged and apparent impropriety of FBI agents regarding the interconnected Biden-Trump-Russia imbroglios seems to be only one part of the FBI’s malfeasance. Reports emerged in March that a 2019 internal FBI audit found FBI agents broke the rules at least 747 times in just a year and a half in high-profile investigations — and even that audit covered less than half of FBI matters listed as “sensitive” during the relevant time period. …. [The full column is here.]

 

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