FERBRACHE: Did The FBI Corroborate Reliable Source Reporting Of Alleged Biden Corruption?

(Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Mark Ferbrache Contributor
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Are the “walls are closing in” on the Biden family’s alleged corruption network? Sound familiar? 

As many as three whistleblowers have disclosed concerns to Republican Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley regarding “irregular handling” of evidence and “standard investigatory procedures … not being followed” in relation to the government’s investigation of Hunter Biden.

Indeed, one whistleblower claim refers to an FBI confidential source reporting on form FD-1023.  Form FD-1023 is an internal bureau document to record positive reporting from registered confidential sources. This report contains information about allegations that President Biden engaged in a pay-for-play scheme when he was vice president that involved a bribe from a foreign entity in exchange for a policy decision. 

Until recently, FBI Director Christopher Wray has dodged the subpoena issued by House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY), asserting that public disclosure of the document would unfairly identify a confidential source and possibly damage the reputations of others. Wray’s stonewalling has irked Comer to the point of holding Director Wray in contempt of Congress.  Just as a casual observer, whatever so-called “oversight” Congress has over the FBI, it apparently has no teeth. 

There are ways for the FBI to comply with Comer’s request without putting the source’s identity or anyone’s reputation at risk. Not long ago, these would have been considered legitimate reasons for the FBI to resist disclosure. However, given the surplus of FBI scandals since the 2016 election, one has reason to doubt Director Wray’s true intentions. Call me cynical, but by all accounts, the FBI’s senior leadership has traded the Bureau’s reputation of constitutional fidelity for a distorted notion of justice and obedient loyalty to an ailing President. 

Other whistleblowers have alleged so far that the FBI mishandled evidence and deviated from standard investigative procedures in its inquiries of Hunter Biden. If the FBI had done its job and followed its own policies and procedures, there might not be any reason now to throw a flag. 

The existence of the bribery allegation in the FD-1023 is just the starting point. The whistleblower came forward, not because he learned of the reported corrupt arrangement, but more importantly because of his knowledge of what the bureau did – or didn’t do – to validate the information. This is at the heart of the current Comer/Grassley probe of questionable FBI actions.

In the subpoena to Wray, both Comer and Senator Charles Grassley indicate the document is dated to June 20, 2020, (likely the day the confidential source was interviewed) and the alleged bribe was $5 million. These specific details, along with Grassley’s confirmation to Wray that he’s “already seen the form”, suggests that the whistleblower had access to the FD-1023, kept a copy and provided it to Grassley. 

With all the talk of holding the FBI Director in contempt of Congress, it looks like Wray has found a way to comply with Comer’s subpoena. In a closed hearing next week, he has agreed to provide the FD-1023 document to Comer’s Committee. Grassley, and likely Comer, already have the document, so during his audience with Comer, Wray should be pinned down on the FBI’s efforts to, a) evaluate the source’s veracity, b) whether the source had reasonable access to be privy to such closely-held information, and the $64,000 question, c) what actions did FBI undertake to corroborate the information?

Recent reporting by Fox News claims the confidential source providing the incriminating information on the president has been “consistently reviewed by the FBI,” “found to be highly credible” and has provided information in the past on multiple FBI investigative matters. If true, this ups the ante for Wray on his answers to item “c.” But (and I’m just spit-balling here), prepare for a response that suggests that the whole thing is some type of “disinformation” campaign. 

Let’s assume for a moment the FBI determined the source lacked credibility and his reporting was dubious. If saddled with information this inflammatory, what actions did the FBI undertake to put the matter to rest? It defies common sense that, after receiving information implicating a sitting president in possible crime, the FBI did nothing and buried the report to protect Biden, even if they were highly skeptical of the source’s allegations.

If FBI and DOJ are effectively the praetorian guards for the Biden administration, then shielding the president from accusations of corruption and deep-sixing them is job one. So, regardless of the source’s credibility or accuracy of the information, the Bureau, at the highest levels, likely directed a deep-dive on the source’s story immediately, if not sooner, to at least to gain control of the information and contain it. This entails controlling the source to prevent further spread of the allegations. But besides the source, who else knows about the information? It’s like trying to put the genie back in the bottle. Thus, the appearance of a whistleblower.

If, after conducting the requisite due diligence to vet the source’s information, the FBI believed the allegations to be credible, then that’s how an FBI corruption investigation begins. 

Mark D. Ferbrache served as an FBI special agent for 27 years specializing in white-collar criminal investigations. He later worked in the bureau’s National Security Division and CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, and held diplomatic assignments in Prague, London and Bucharest, as well as field office assignments in Seattle, New York and the FBI Headquarters in Washington. He is currently employed as a contractor in the U.S. intelligence community.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.