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FBI Deputy Director Admits Existence of Document Alleging Biden Bribery Scheme

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Republican Sen. Josh Hawley got deputy FBI Director Paul Abbate to admit what the FBI had been reluctant to admit regarding the 1023 document that alleges that when Joe Biden was vice president he participated in a bribery scheme with a foreign national.

It happened last week when Abbate sat before the committee to answer questions and Hawley grilled him.

“You just started to answer Sen. Blackburn’s question that not releasing the 10-23 or talking about it is a matter of life and death, a “question of life and death,” you said. Explain. For whom?” the senator said.

“It is potentially a question of life and death with regard to the source of the information,” the deputy director said.

“So no we’ve confirmed that the document exists, that’a progress because the FBI director originally denied that it exists. Why did he do that?” Hawley said.

“We have already and previously acknowledged the existence of the document,” Abbate said.

“Yeah, after you first denied it. When a member of this committee read it. Let’s get the record straight, the FBI director originally said it doesn’t exist. Then Sen. Grassley said he’s read it. Then he said, “Oh, OK, gotcha, I guess it does exist.” Now you’re going back and forth with members of this committee about what’s in it. Why don’t you just release it? Is it classified?” Hawley said.

“The document is not classified,” the deputy FBI director said.

“OK. How about just a yes or no? Will you commit to releasing this unclassified document that alleges that the President Of the United States has taken $5 million or more in bribes from a foreign nation?” Hawley said.

“The document has already been released pursuant to a subpoena to the House Oversight Committee,” Abbate said.

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“Well, how about to this committee?” Hawley said.

“We will work with this committee within the parameters that are established,” Abbate said.

“Will you release the document to the public? It’s unclassified. Don’t you think the American people have the right to see it?” Hawley said.

“Senator, the document, as you know, contains sensitive information that has bearing on the life of the source of the information, potentially,” Abbate said.

“You can redact the source’s name, we do this all the time,” the senator said.

“In some instances, senator, I know you know this, that is not sufficient to protect people. And that’s what we strive to do each and every day, and I would hope you take that seriously too,” the deputy FBI director said.

“Oh I take it very seriously, but I also take seriously the fact that your institution has repeatedly abused its authority,” Hawley said.

Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn also grilled Deputy FBI Director Abbate after she learned that the FBI concealed the existence of audio recordings of both President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden with a Ukrainian national who were allegedly involved in a bribery scheme together.

The senator demanded answers as to why the existence of the recordings were redacted and why Sen. Charles Grassley had to find them himself.

“The Deputy FBI Director ADMITTED the agency is covering up the $5 million Biden-Burisma bribery scandal,” Sen. Blackburn said in a tweet with a video of the exchange.

“Mr. Abbate, I want to come to you because Tennesseans are incredibly concerned about the politicization of the FBI. And they have watched the FBI target parents, people of faith, people with conservative values. And I am often asked what group is going to be next? And how did we get to this — to this point. Because they have watched the FBI, under your leadership, draw their guns on a pro life advocate. That was stunning to them. That was done in front of his wife and children,” the senator said.

“They have labeled parents interested in education as domestic terrorists. And all parents should be interested and are interested in their children’s education. They watched the raid on a former president and a political opponent, on his home. And these have confirmed their worst — worst fears, that there are indeed two tiers of justice, and that there is a political cabal within the FBI that sees it that way,” she said.

“Because when Hillary Clinton mishandled information, and she wiped her email server with a tool called BleachBit and then beat the mobile devices with a hammer, and destroyed those SIM cards, you all basically said there’s nothing to see here. There is nothing to question. And when President Biden mishandled classified documents, there was no raid on his home or on his offices. But you see how President Trump has been handled with this. So it looks like the old playbook of distract and deflect,” the senator said.

“And the American people have a right to be concerned about this. Now I want to talk about Senator Grassley is information from yesterday. But because when the FBI produced the document that you refer to earlier, relating to the Biden bribery allegations, and you gave that to House Oversight, you all redacted any reference to the fact that the foreign national who allegedly bribed Joe and Hunter Biden had those 17 audio voice recordings. So first of all, why did you redact that part of the information?” she said.

“Senator — senator first, as I said before, your assertion, or anyone who makes the assertion that the FBI is politicized, I reject it wholeheartedly. It’s wrong. And it is not true. The work we do and the people I see in the FBI —” he said before the senator interrupted him.

“OK, Mr. Abbate, then let me ask you this. You said in your response to Senator Cruz that you and the FBI do your job to the best of your ability. So why don’t you tell me what your job is? Is it to defend and shield Joe Biden, or is your job to protect this country and the Constitution of the United States, which is it?” she said.

“The job of the FBI is to protect the country, keep people safe and uphold the Constitution of our great country, period,” he said before the two began talking over each other.

“That’s what we work to do every day, objectively. There are not two standards of justice. There is only one. It’s applied equally to each and every person —” he said.

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“Practically and by perception, there are two standards, very clear standards of justice in this country. We see it every single day. The American people see this every single day. They look at you and they see a politicized entity that is weaponizing an agency of the federal government against the American people,” she said.

“That is not the FBI that I see, senator,” the deputy FBI director said.

“That is not the FBI you see, there are a lot of good people that work for the FBI. But you have a political cabal there. So why did you decide to conceal the information in that revelation to the House Oversight Committee? Why did you redact all of that pertaining to the phone calls?” the senator said.

“We have exceptional people within the FBI. The very best,” he said.

Blackburn: “You’re not answering the question. Why did you redact that information?”

“And they work relentlessly every day to keep this country safe and to protect people, period,” the deputy FBI director responded.

“You chose not to reveal that the calls were there? And Senator Grassley found it out anyway. Is that accurate?” the senator said. “You chose to redact it. Yes or no?”

“We often redact documents to protect sources and methods,” Abbate said.

“So you chose to redact the — the fact that there are 17 voice recordings, two of those with the now president, you chose to redact that and not to give that to House Oversight. Is that accurate?” she said.

“I have no idea if there are voice recordings or not. What I will tell you with respect to the document —” the deputy FBI director said before the senator cut him off.

“You don’t  know?” the senator said.

“— the document was redacted to protect the source as everyone knows —” Abbate said again, “— and this is a question of life and death potentially.”

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