FBI received evidence from second informant in Biden case but shut him down, ex-agent testifies
“It shocked me a bit because … the purpose of a confidential informant is to support a case,” ex-Agent Tim Thibault told Congress. He's not the first law enforcement official to meet roadblocks created to protect Hunter Biden.
A retired FBI supervisor has revealed to Congress that the bureau’s Washington field office had a second “politically connected” informant providing information relevant to the Biden family investigation, but was asked to shut down the source in the fall of 2020 shortly before Joe Biden was elected president, Just the News has learned.
Retired Special Agent Timothy Thibault, the former No. 2 supervisor in the FBI’s Washington field office, told the House Judiciary Committee last week in a transcribed interview he was somewhat taken aback when he received the request from the lead agent in the Hunter Biden tax case in October 2020 to shut down the confidential human source (CHS).
“It shocked me a bit because I'm, like, the purpose of – a confidential informant is to support a case,” Thibault told investigators in portions of a transcript reviewed by Just the News.
Thibault did not further identify the source in his testimony, but best-selling author Peter Schweizer told Just the News Sunday that he believes he is the person described in the transcript based on past comments from Thibault and after The New York Times recently suggested the FBI had received information in the Hunter Biden case from a “right-wing author.”
Schweizer said the FBI approached him and he provided to agents evidence about possible criminality in fall 2020. He said there was no politics involved, just facts and he pushed back on the narrative of the Times, noting its journalists reported on the Hillary Clinton-funded Steele dossier submitted to the FBI in 2016.
“There are no ‘right wing facts’ or ‘left wing facts.’ There are only facts,” he said. “And of course they happily accepted the unsubstantiated and unsourced dossier from Hillary Clinton’s lawyer without reservation.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan summoned Thibault for the interview as he investigates allegations that U. S. Attorney, David Weiss and is team did not follow normal investigative procedures when probing Hunter Biden and his family’s overseas business dealings.
Thibault retired after revelations he had made anti-Trump posts on social media while an agent, and has been a target of sharp criticism from some Republicans, including Sen. Charles Grassley, (R-Iowa).
But his testimony last week could open an entire new avenue of inquiry for congressional investigators trying to determine if the FBI or Justice Department thwarted certain avenues of inquiry into the Biden family as Joe Biden was preparing to become president.
Thibault's 25-year service record shows his professional work to be non-partisan, and has "reeled in big names while investigating public corruption, sending two Democratic congressmen to prison and overseeing sensitive inquiries into the Clinton Foundation and the former governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, another Democrat" according to The New York Times.
Two IRS whistleblowers have already delivered blockbuster testimony to House investigators earlier this summer that they and FBI agents were blocked from asking questions about Joe Biden, and from acquiring a search warrant for Hunter Biden’s storage locker or Joe Biden’s guest house where evidence was suspected to be located. The IRS agents said they were thwarted from questioning Hunter Biden when the Biden transition team was tipped off to their plan to interview the first son.
In addition, Grassley has disclosed an FD-1023 informant report showing that the FBI was alerted to bribery allegations by a confidential human source. That source alleged that Joe and Hunter Biden may have received $10 million in payments for helping to deal with a Ukrainian prosecutor probing the Burisma Holdings gas firm that paid Hunter Biden millions.
The Bidens and their allies flatly deny the allegations but the FBI has told Congress some of those allegations remain under investigation, a claim GOP investigators find dubious three years later. In an interview on Fox News' "Hannity" TV show, the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability James Comer (R-Ky.) said "The evidence continues to mount and today we saw Joe Biden has lied to the American people. He knew exactly who his son was getting those millions and millions of dollars of wires from, he spoke to them, and he spoke to them often."
Thibault’s testimony raises the prospect that a second informant also brought information to the FBI before the 2020 presidential election and was also walled off.
Thibault said he arrived in later summer 2020 as a new supervisor in the Washington office and the following month learned about an FD-1023 report containing informant information relevant to the ongoing Hunter Biden probe into taxes and alleged foreign lobbying.
“Some time in September – and this is a recollection. The FBI did not allow me to go back and review a source file. Okay? I have a recollection of a 1023, which is a source report, raw source report, and of reviewing it and/or approving it,” he told investigators for House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, cautioning he was trying to be as careful and accurate as possible.
“The reason why I say I approved it, sometimes it's – it involved a sensitive source, I believe. Somehow I saw that source report,” he said. “And I believe I approved it. At the very least I reviewed it, I believe. To me, when I first saw it, it didn't stick out.”
The next month, Thibault said, he got an unexpected call from an agent he had known who was helping to supervise the Hunter Biden criminal tax case being run in Delaware by U.S. Attorney David Weiss.
“Fast forward to sometime in October, I received an unsolicited call – from the supervisor of the Hunter Biden case. I knew him because he had been assigned to Washington Field Office as the case agent,” he said. “My squad was right down the hallway from him. And he was also a medic on SWAT team.
“And so I got to know him really well. He's a smart guy. So when he calls me, I'm going to listen to him. Right?” he continued. “He calls me and says: ‘Hey, I have concerns about a CHS that has been opened by the Washington Field Office and sent us a 1023.’”
Thibault said he became defensive, trying to protect his agents. The Washington FBI field office has 830 special agents who reported to Thibault.
“I said: Okay. What are your concerns? And (he) basically said, ‘Look, the information isn't of any value to us, number one. I deduced from everything he said that they already had the ... from some other source, some other channel, maybe not a human source but some other channel."
“He also said that that person was politically connected and partisan in his view and he was concerned about the source being on media platforms. At the time I, you know, was fairly new,” Thibault testified.
He then described why he found the overture uncomfortable.
“So I was getting a call from this supervisor. And my takeaway was 'we don't need your source reporting' and also: 'Why are you sending a file to our case file that we didn't know about?' Right? So Washington Field Office wrote this 1023 and it went to headquarters and it went to Baltimore. And so when I get this call, I'm a little defensive,” he said.
Thibault was not more specific in describing the informant, their role, their allegations or their political preferences. But he told congressional investigators there is a careful assessment before informant allegations are forwarded to other FBI offices.
“There's always a value risk assessment here. It's like a value proposition. So Washington Field Office in this example is the originator. Baltimore Field Office is the consumer,” he said.
Hunter Biden’s lawyer, the White House, spokesmen for Jordan and Grassley and the lawyer for Thibault did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Thibault, sources said, also addressed the prior criticism of his partisan social media posts, telling Jordan’s committee it was a mistake and bad judgment. But he added that his views in the social media posts did not impact his work.
When Grassley first leveled criticism at Thibault, the senator said he was concerned by information from a whistleblower that Thibault, as the assistant special agent in charge, may have closed down part of an investigation in the Biden probe in October 2020, the exact time frame Thibault described for the source shutdown.
“An avenue of derogatory Hunter Biden reporting was ordered closed,” Grassley said.
Thibault’s account raises the possibility that the episode Grassley cited was actually driven by the Delaware prosecution team and simply carried out by Thibault. Weiss' conduct, including a "sweetheart" plea deal for Hunter Biden that was rejected by a federal judge, is under investigation by Congress.
The decision to allow the statute of limitations to expire on more serious charges remains a major focus of inquiries led by Jordan, Comer and House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo).
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) approved an impeachment inquiry against President Biden last week that includes a focus on whether there were coverup schemes in the Biden probe.
Grassley also raised concerns that an FBI intelligence assessment was "used by an FBI headquarters team to improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation" when it was not. "Based on allegations, verified and verifiable derogatory information on Hunter Biden was falsely labeled as disinformation,” Grassley said.
Comer said that he plans on holding a hearing in September to summarize his impeachment inquiry committee’s findings and that he wants to interview people who have knowledge of Hunter Biden’s business dealings.
“We are following the money and we’ll see where that leads,” he told reporters asking about "next steps" in the possible impeachment process.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook
- FBI’s Washington field office
- sharp criticism from some Republicans
- a "sweetheart" plea deal for Hunter Biden
- Grassley also raised concerns
- he told reporters asking about "next steps" in the possible impeachment process.