Top Democrat Presses FBI to State Biden Is Not Under Investigation

Tom Ozimek
By Tom Ozimek
June 20, 2023Capitol Report

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the ranking Democratic member on the House Oversight Committee, has asked the FBI to make public evidence that would confirm that President Joe Biden isn’t under federal investigation for bribery.

At issue are allegations made by an FBI informant and documented in form FD-1023 claiming that then-Vice President Biden engaged in a $5 million bribery scheme with a foreign national in exchange for certain actions.

Hunter Biden, the president’s son, was alleged to have been part of the “arrangement” and to have cashed in on $5 million, per the form.

Raskin and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) both viewed the FD-1023 form and were given a briefing on the matter during a June 5 closed-door meeting with senior FBI officials.

Following that briefing, Comer said the investigation linked to FD-1023 remains ongoing, while Raskin insists that it has been closed down because of insufficient evidence.

Biden has called the bribery accusations “a bunch of malarkey.”

Rep Jamie Raskin
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) departs from a House Democrat caucus meeting with White House debt negotiators at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on May 31, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Put It in Writing

On June 16, Raskin wrote a letter (pdf) to FBI Director Christopher Wray, asking him to confirm in writing the nonclassified information provided to him and Comer at the briefing.

“The statements made by the FBI are critical to fully assess the credibility and validity of the double hearsay allegations set forth in the Form FD-1023,” Raskin wrote, requesting that the FBI “reiterate in writing” and provide by June 23 the evidence the agency has provided to him and Comer.

Raskin suggested that the reason he’s asking for the public disclosure of the evidence is to confirm that Biden isn’t under investigation by the FBI on bribery allegations and so counterclaims made by Comer that the agency may, in fact, be continuing its FD-1023 investigation.

“At no point during the briefing did the FBI state or suggest in any way that ‘Joe Biden is currently under investigation for bribery,'” Raskin wrote, citing Comer’s words from a June 11 interview on Fox News.

House Select Subcommittee On The Coronavirus Pandemic Investigates The Origins Of COVID-19
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) questions witnesses during the first public hearing of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 8, 2023. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

After receiving the FBI briefing, Comer told Fox that “according to the FBI and according to Bill Barr, Joe Biden is currently under investigation for bribery.”

Comer’s reference to Barr’s remarks relates to an interview the former attorney general gave to the Federalist on June 7, in which he said it’s “not true” that the investigation had ended.

“It’s not true. It wasn’t closed down,” Barr told the media outlet. “On the contrary, it was sent to Delaware for further investigation.”

Barr was responding to a comment from Raskin claiming that Barr’s office started—but later dropped—an investigation into claims made by the FBI informant in FD-1023 that Biden, as vice president, was involved in a criminal bribery scheme.

Raskin had claimed that Barr and his team of prosecutors looked into the claim for some time but later “determined there was no grounds to escalate from an initial assessment to a preliminary investigation” and “called an end” to the investigation because of a lack of suspicion of “criminal activity.”

But Barr disputed this account, telling the Federalist that the FBI informant’s claims, as detailed in FD-1023, were sent to the Delaware U.S. attorney’s office for further investigation.

Attorney General nominee William Barr arrives on Capitol Hill
Attorney General nominee William Barr arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Jan. 29, 2019. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Delaware U.S. attorney’s office is currently investigating Hunter Biden’s tax affairs.

The president’s son has denied any wrongdoing in connection with the tax probe.

The FBI confirmed to The Epoch Times that it had received Raskin’s letter but declined to comment further.

Conflicting Accounts

During the June 5 meeting, senior FBI officials answered Raskin’s and Comer’s questions for about an hour and gave “crucial context” to understand FD-1023 and the related FBI investigation, Raskin wrote in the letter to Wray.

He said that, in the briefing, the FBI explained that this form was created as part of an “assessment” that then-Attorney General Bill Barr assigned to Scott Brady, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, with the aim of examining corruption claims leveled against Biden by Rudy Giuliani, a former New York mayor who was given Hunter Biden’s laptop by a Delaware computer repairman.

Giuliani had alleged that Biden pressured Ukrainian officials to fire top Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin by threatening to cut off $1 billion in guaranteed loans to the Eastern European country because Shokin was planning to investigate Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company that employed Hunter Biden.

Shokin was fired in April 2016 amid long-standing charges of corruption. However, Shokin told a European court in a sworn affidavit that he was removed because he refused to drop the investigation into Burisma.

Raskin said in the letter that FBI officials told him and Comer that in August 2020, after eight months of investigative efforts, Brady’s team found insufficient evidence to escalate their “assessment” probe of Giuliani’s allegations into a full-blown investigation.

“The FBI read an excerpt from a memorandum closing down the assessment with the concurrence of both Mr. Brady and high-level officials at [the Department of Justice],” Raskin wrote.

He alleged that the statements made by the FBI during that meeting are “plainly inconsistent” with public statements made by Comer.

Comer, for his part, issued a statement on June 16 that Raskin lied when he said the FD-1023 assessment was shut down.

“It doesn’t matter how many times Ranking Member Raskin repeats the lie, it’s still a lie,” Comer said.

“The information contained in the FBI’s FD-1023 form did not originate with Rudy Giuliani, and as Former Attorney General William Barr has confirmed publicly, the FD-1023 was not closed but rather forwarded to the U.S. Attorney in Delaware for further investigation.

“In addition, Director Wray himself told Senator Grassley and me directly that the FD-1023 form was related to an ongoing investigation.”

It comes as Republicans have ramped up their probes into the Biden family’s business dealings after former President Donald Trump was indicted for alleged mishandling of classified documents as commander in chief.

Biden, who faces his own classified documents probe from his time as vice president, hasn’t been charged.

From The Epoch Times

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