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Justice

Top FBI official accused of shutting down Hunter Biden investigation must testify: GOP

The top FBI official who left the bureau in the wake of explosive Hunter Biden whistleblower allegations should be forced to testify before the Senate, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said.

FBI Assistant Special Agent Timothy Thibault, who left the bureau last month, shut down a line of inquiry into now-President Joe Biden's son in October 2020 despite some of the details being known to be true at the time, according to whistleblower allegations provided to Grassley. The senator said the Justice Department and FBI investigation into Hunter Biden may now be hobbled because of it.

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“FBI officials wanted to take action with respect to this separate investigative information the FBI had in its possession related to Hunter Biden. However, Thibault blocked the FBI from doing what would normally be done,” Grassley said in a Senate floor speech. “Accordingly, the investigative activity and information could not be advanced as it should’ve been, which means the FBI could have 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.”

President Joe Biden, lower right, talks with his son Hunter Biden, lower left, as they walk up the steps with first lady Jill Biden, top left, and daughter-in-law Melissa Cohen, top right, to Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022. They are heading to South Carolina for a week-long vacation on Kiawah Island. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Thibault released a statement last month through lawyers, who said he “was not fired, not forced to retire, and not asked to retire.”

“There have also been allegations that Mr. Thibault took certain actions in investigations for partisan political reasons,” Thibault’s attorneys said. “Mr. Thibault welcomes any investigation of these false allegations, regardless of his retirement. He firmly believes that any investigation will conclude his supervision, leadership, and decision-making were not impacted by political bias or partisanship of any kind.”

Thibault’s lawyer added: “To further set the record straight … Mr. Thibault did not supervise the investigation of Hunter Biden, which, as confirmed by the FBI Director on August 4, 2022, is being handled by the Baltimore Field Office. In particular, Mr. Thibault was not involved in any decisions related to any laptop that may be at issue in that investigation, and he did not seek to close the investigation.”

Grassley’s whistleblower disclosures did not claim that Thibault had been involved in the laptop element of the Hunter Biden saga.

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“Let’s look at Thibault’s recent statement and the allegations that he didn’t address,” Grassley said in his speech last week, noting that Thibault “didn’t address the shutting down of investigative activity and avenues of information relating to Hunter Biden” and “didn’t address his actions to try and improperly mark investigative closings so that they couldn’t be opened in the future.”

Grassley also pointed out that Thibault “didn’t address the alleged criminality within the information provided to the FBI about Hunter Biden.”

“Thibault said that he ‘welcomes any investigation’ into the allegations against him,” Grassley said. “Well, Mr. Thibault, come on in. Sit for a transcribed interview with me and my colleagues.”

Konstantinos "Gus" Dimitrelos, a cyber forensics expert and former Secret Service agent, conducted an examination of the laptop for the Washington Examiner this year, concluding that “there is a 100% certainty that Robert Hunter Biden was the only person responsible for the activity on this hard drive” and “the hard drive is authentic.”

FBI supervisory intelligence analyst Brian Auten also "opened an assessment, which was used by an FBI headquarters team to improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation and caused investigative activity to cease," according to whistleblower allegations made public by Grassley, who claimed one of the allegations shows "verified and verifiable derogatory information on Hunter Biden was falsely labeled as disinformation."

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Thibault also may have violated the Hatch Act over his 2020 social media posts criticizing then-President Donald Trump and then-Attorney General Bill Barr, among other Republicans, according to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz last month.

“There have been allegations that Mr. Thibault’s social media posts potentially violated the Hatch Act, and those are being investigated by the Office of Special Counsel,” Thibault’s attorneys said. “Mr. Thibault is cooperating with that investigation, urges the Office to complete its review, and expects to be fully exonerated.”