Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley filed a blistering list of questions for the record addressed to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday, demanding the law enforcement bureaucrat answer questions about his agency’s malfeasance, including its raid on former President Donald Trump’s private home and its disparate treatment of Democrats like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Joe Biden’s son Hunter. Grassley gave Wray a deadline of Aug. 25 to respond to the 15-page document.
Grassley ordered Wray to explain why he bailed early on a hearing for questioning from Congress, amid reports that Wray may have left for vacation on the FBI’s private jet. “News reports indicate that you took your government plane to the Adirondacks,” Grassley wrote. “Is that true? If so, why couldn’t you have stayed for a second round to complete the hearing?”
In the wake of Wray’s FBI descending on Trump’s private Florida home in an “unannounced raid” on Monday, Grassley also demanded answers about the unprecedented move. He asked Wray to provide “the predicating records, including the search warrant and supporting affidavit” for the raid, to explain whether the scope of the investigation into the likely 2024 candidate was “limited to federal records and classification issues,” and to answer whether the White House was involved in or aware of the raid.
One Rule for Hillary, Another for Trump
The senator also highlighted the bureau’s disparate treatment of Democrats who violated federal records laws as Trump is apparently accused of doing. When Clinton and her staff’s “mishandling of highly classified information resulted in 91 valid security violations committed by 38 individuals, some of whom ‘deliberately transmitted’ classified information via Clinton’s unsecured server,” the FBI never raided their homes, Grassley noted. He also criticized that investigation as inappropriately limited, and re-raised concerns he had brought up to the FBI back in 2016 about its “kid-gloves treatment” of the Clinton team, including that “the FBI inexplicably agreed to destroy [Clinton staffers Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson’s] laptops knowing that the contents were the subject of Congressional subpoenas and preservation letters.”
“As we now know,” Grassley continued, “the FBI pulled its punches and Director Comey drafted an exoneration statement for Secretary Clinton before interviewing her and 16 other relevant witnesses.”
From Wray, he demanded to know: “With respect to the 91 security violations committed by the 38 individuals relating to Secretary Clinton’s mishandling of highly classified information, did the State Department refer any of them to the Justice Department or FBI? If so, what steps were taken to investigate them for those security violations and potential criminal conduct?”
Grassley also noted that when Clinton lawyer David Kendall stored a flash drive with classified information, the State Department said it “simply cleared the site where they’re being held, made sure that it was a secure facility, and capable of holding what could be classified material.”
“Did the FBI engage in the same conduct with respect to former President Trump and Mar-a-Lago?” Grassley asked. “If not, why not?”
Noting that, for Clinton, “The government even allowed non-government attorneys to draft the letters that circumscribed the scope of the document review that would be performed by the FBI,” Grassley wanted to know if Trump’s lawyers were given the same preferential treatment, as well as the opportunity to have the FBI “destroy government records” as the bureau did for Clinton.
Special Treatment for Hunter Biden
Grassley also highlighted whistleblower reports of the FBI’s special treatment for President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. “Whistleblowers have alleged to my office that the FBI gave preferential treatment to the Biden family by shutting down investigative activity and sources with respect to potentially criminal information on Hunter Biden,” he noted. Those allegations included that the FBI had opened and then used an assessment to “improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation and caused investigative activity to cease” just months before the 2020 presidential election. At the same time, Biden’s Big Tech allies were censoring reporting of damning evidence about Hunter as “disinformation.”
Grassley also cited allegations that “FBI officials, including [Assistant Special Agent in Charge Timothy] Thibault, subsequently attempted to improperly mark the matter in FBI systems so that it could not be opened in the future.”
“What steps has the FBI taken to investigate ASAC Thibault for attempting to improperly shut down sources who provided information on Hunter Biden to the FBI?” Grassley asked. “If no steps have been taken, why not?” Among other evidence, he also demanded “all records related to derogatory information on Hunter Biden, James Biden, and their foreign business relationships” and wanted to know “what evidence of disinformation did the FBI require before wholly discounting derogatory information on Hunter Biden?”
Grassley also demanded the FBI make records from the Obama FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane probe into then-candidate Trump available to Congress, asked about the “FBI’s policies to detect and prevent politicized decisions,” and requested information about the FBI’s investigations into pro-abortion extremist violence after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision.
Elle Reynolds is an assistant editor at The Federalist, and received her B.A. in government from Patrick Henry College with a minor in journalism. You can follow her work on Twitter at @_etreynolds.