On Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies on Capitol Hill as part of an FBI oversight hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Wray remains a poster child for the horrible personnel choices made by President Trump, especially in his first couple of years. In the wake of the disastrous James Comey, Trump needed to appoint someone focused on cleaning up the partisan sh**hole the FBI had become. Instead, he nominated a weak, milquetoast character like Wray, who was immediately captured by the agency’s power structure.
The prime movers in the Russia Hoax escaped unscathed. No one was ever called to account for sending a SWAT team to Roger Stone’s home and coordinating with CNN to ensure it was caught on video. The FBI sanctioned former Trump official Jeffrey Clark’s public humiliation by releasing a body cam video showing him in his underwear. The lack of interest in the riots of the Summer of 2020 (riots that I firmly believe were at least partly a foreign intelligence operation) and vote fraud in the 2020 election contrast sharply with the dragnet executed for January trespassers and the institutional effort to manufacture a threat from “domestic violent extremists;” see More Whistleblower Info on FBI Padding Stats, Helping Biden Narrative on Domestic Extremism, and GOP Rep Demolishes FBI Flack Over ‘Domestic Terrorism’ Corruption. For two elections in a row, the FBI has actively meddled in our elections. First, in jump-starting the Russia Hoax by treating allegations in 2015 as legitimate even though they knew them to be fraudulent and then in 2020 by suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop investigation.
Ranking Member Chuck Grassley has announced that he intends to question Wray on what, if anything, he’s doing to depoliticize the FBI.
Last week, Grassley sent a letter to Attorney General (so-called) Merrick Garland and Wray demanding answers to several questions.
The main issue Grassley is interested in is the Hunter Biden laptop and the actions the FBI took to protect Hunter Biden. Of particular interest is the role of an FBI analyst, Brian Auten, in discrediting the Hunter Biden laptop and, seemingly, trying to create a false perception of the laptop in a briefing delivered to Grassley and Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson.
Meet Brian Auten. The FBI analyst is hardly a household name, but whistleblowers who contacted the office of GOP senator Chuck Grassley say he was behind an August 2020 report that FBI officials used as part of a “scheme…to undermine derogatory information connected to Hunter Biden by falsely suggesting it was disinformation.”
Auten had been recommended for disciplinary action by the DOJ IG for his role in mainstreaming the Steele Dossier and pushing to obtain FISA warrants based on that fraudulent document despite knowing it was unreliable.
Grassley is also interested in the former Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office, Timothy Thibault. Thibault, whose social media presence shows that he is anything but apolitical, personally intervened in the laptop investigation to close investigations and code them so that it would be very difficult to reopen them. Grassley has gone so far as to accuse Thibault of likely violations of “federal laws, regulations and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) guidelines.”
Also in the spotlight is the former head of the “elections crimes branch,” Richard Pilger. Pilger resigned in a storm of false indignation and stompy feet when Attorney General Bill Barr authorized US Attorneys to open investigations into vote fraud on their own authority. Far from being a martyr to truth and light, Pilger initiated an investigation against the Trump campaign based on an unsubstantiated allegation from a leftwing activist group while preventing investigations of voter fraud in many locations.
While we can applaud Grassley’s actions and cheer him on as he gives Wray some anxious moments as he reveals other “whistleblower” information his office has received, the fact is this is theater. Wray is operating exactly as Merrick Garland wants him to operate. The political operatives at work behind the scenes to quash investigations of prominent Democrats are doing Garland’s bidding. Nothing will change Thursday or next year when Ron Johnson will lead (assuming the GOP has a Senate majority) the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. It won’t even change if we have a GOP president in 2024 unless that president arrives in office with a clear agenda to gut the DOJ and FBI and remove anyone even vaguely connected with the partisan abuses by those organizations since at least 2015 (Trump Team Plans Post-Election Purge of Department of Justice, FBI, and the Intelligence Community).