Wray testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. The hearing comes after recent whistleblower accounts accused officials at the bureau of wrongly dismissing potentially incriminating evidence against Hunter Biden during the 2020 election.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) brought up a letter Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the ranking member of the committee, sent to Wray last month detailing whistleblower allegations that FBI intelligence analyst Brian Auten and other officials wrongly dismissed verifiable and potentially damning information about Biden as disinformation in the months prior to the 2020 election.
“I want to be very careful not to interfere with ongoing personnel matters. I should say that when I read the letter that describes the kinds of things that you are talking about, I found it deeply troubling,” Wray said.
Grassley wrote Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland on July 25 outlining whistleblower allegations against Auten and other FBI officials.
In August 2020, Auten, as part of his responsibilities vetting information, created an assessment which a team of FBI agents used to discredit potentially damaging information the bureau had received on Hunter Biden, according to the letter.
“FBI Headquarters” used Auten’s report to “improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation and caused investigative activity to cease,” Grassley wrote. “[T]he allegations provided to my office appear to indicate that there was a scheme in place among certain FBI officials to undermine derogatory information connected to Hunter Biden by falsely suggesting it was disinformation.”
Another FBI official, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Timothy Thibault, “allegedly ordered the matter closed without providing a valid reason as required by FBI guidelines,” Grassley stated.
“Despite the matter being closed in such a way that the investigative avenue might be opened later, it’s alleged that FBI officials, including ASAC Thibault, subsequently attempted to improperly mark the matter in FBI systems so that it could not be opened in the future,” the senator wrote.