WASHINGTON — Republicans blasted the FBI as politically biased Monday after The Post reported that disgraced ex-FBI agent Timothy Thibault was the “point man” for former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski — and never followed up with him about his bombshell claims.
Bobulinski alleged one month before the 2020 election that Joe Biden was involved with his son Hunter and brother Jim’s dealings with Chinese energy company CEFC, which reportedly paid the Bidens $4.8 million in 2017 and 2018.
Bobulinski, who heard radio silence from Thibault, alleged that he spoke with Joe Biden about the Chinese government-linked CEFC deal and that the then-candidate was referred to as the “big guy” due a 10% cut in a new corporate entity. Another Hunter Biden business associate, James Gilliar, also identified Joe Biden as the “big guy.”
“Unfortunately, Tony Bobulinski’s first-hand eyewitness testimony regarding President Biden’s knowledge of Hunter Biden’s compromising web of foreign financial entanglements, especially with the Chinese, was not only ignored by the media, but also by the FBI,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told The Post.
“The suppression and censoring of his testimony and Hunter’s influence peddling impacted the 2020 election to a far greater extent than anything Russia or China could have ever achieved,” said Johnson, a former chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
“Where does it stop?” tweeted Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.
“According to brave whistleblowers, Timothy Thibault: -Tried to shut down an avenue of the Hunter Biden investigation. -Cooked the books on ‘domestic violent extremism’ cases. -Hid intel on Hunter and the ‘Big Guy’ Joe Biden.”
The FBI did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
Thibault retired from the FBI last week following a firestorm of criticism over his anti-Trump social media posts and whistleblower allegations that he buried Hunter Biden material.
Thibault’s social media barbs against Republicans resemble the anti-Republican attacks by FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page during the bureau’s investigation of possible Russian collusion with Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
In a July letter outlining whistleblower complaints to his office, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote that Thibault and another FBI employee, supervisory intelligence analyst Brian Auten, allegedly were involved in “a scheme” to “undermine derogatory information connected to Hunter Biden by falsely suggesting it was disinformation.”
Auten “opened an assessment which was used by a FBI Headquarters (‘FBI HQ’) team to improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation and caused investigative activity to cease,” Grassley wrote.
“[V]erified and verifiable derogatory information on Hunter Biden was falsely labeled as disinformation,” Grassley wrote.
Thibault, meanwhile, allegedly tried to kill off a valid avenue of investigation of possible Hunter Biden criminality.
“In October 2020, an avenue of additional derogatory Hunter Biden reporting was ordered closed at the direction of ASAC Thibault … [when] all of the reporting was either verified or verifiable via criminal search warrants,” Grassley wrote.
“Thibault allegedly ordered the matter closed without providing a valid reason as required by FBI guidelines … [and] subsequently attempted to improperly mark the matter in FBI systems so that it could not be opened in the future.”
Under questioning from Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) last month, FBI Director Chris Wray said alleged bias in the Hunter Biden case was “deeply troubling.” But Wray cut short questions, saying he had to catch a flight. It was later alleged that he skipped out on the oversight hearing for a personal vacation.
The FBI’s Baltimore field office is leading the Hunter Biden case, under the supervision of the US Attorney’s Office in Delaware.
Bobulinski has not been called before a grand jury investigating Hunter Biden for potential financial crimes, including tax fraud, money laundering and unregistered foreign lobbying.
A different person who testified before the grand jury, however, was asked about the identity of the “big guy,” The Post previously reported — suggesting that Bobulinski’s testimony may be relevant.
Joe Biden’s involvement with Hunter Biden’s business enterprises often is murky, but he regularly met with his son’s foreign business associates during his vice presidency, and on some occasions Hunter Biden joined his father aboard Air Force Two for official travel that doubled as business trips. The extent to which Hunter and his father exchanged money linked to overseas business dealings is unclear.
Immediately after coming forward in October 2020, Bobulinski sat for more than five hours of questioning by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. He also gave the FBI the contents of three cellphones to corroborate his story. The FBI said Thibault would be Bobulinski’s “point man” for future communications.
Bobulinski’s attorney called Thibault to establish contact after his client’s questioning in October 2020, but never heard from him again.
Thibault’s alleged social media activity included a retweet of a Lincoln Project message that called Trump a “psychologically broken, embittered and deeply unhappy man” and a tweet saying that he wanted to “give Kentucky to the Russian Federation.”
Hunter Biden recently cut the IRS a check for about $2 million in an acknowledgment that he failed to pay taxes on foreign income. The funds reportedly were provided by Hollywood lawyer Kevin Morris, but it’s unclear what repayment if any he must make and the belated payment doesn’t prevent prosecution.
The first son’s overseas dealings gained significant attention this year when the Washington Post and New York Times in March belatedly verified documents from a former Hunter Biden laptop that were first reported by The Post in October 2020.
Joe Biden’s involvement in his son’s business deals continues to present conflicts of interest for the president.
Emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop indicate that his father, then vice president, attended a 2015 DC dinner with a group of his son’s associates from Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan. A photo depicts Joe Biden posing with the Kazakhstani group — and one day after the dinner, Vadym Pozharskyi, an executive at Ukrainian gas company Burisma, emailed the then-second son to thank him for the opportunity to meet his father.
Hunter Biden earned a reported $1 million per year to serve on Burisma’s board while his dad led the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy.
Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina, an alleged attendee of the 2015 dinner and the widow of a former mayor of Moscow, has not faced US sanctions this year in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, despite Biden sanctioning many other members of Russia’s elite. Baturina allegedly paid a Hunter Biden-linked company $3.5 million in 2014.
And the CEFC deal involving Bobulinski isn’t the Biden family’s only entanglement in China.
Also in China, Hunter Biden co-founded an investment firm called BHR Partners in 2013 less than two weeks after flying with his father to Beijing aboard Air Force Two. Hunter introduced Joe Biden to BHR CEO Jonathan Li in the lobby of a hotel in China’s capital.
The fund is controlled in part by state-owned entities. Hunter Biden’s attorney Chris Clark said less than a week after President Biden’s November summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping that the first son divested his 10% stake in BHR Partners, but Hunter Biden and the White House provided no further details and online business records indicate that Hunter Biden still owns the 10% stake.