By Jack Phillips
The top FBI official who left the bureau last month should be asked to testify before the Senate, said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Tuesday.
FBI Assistant Special Agent Timothy Thibault confirmed via his lawyers that he left the law enforcement agency last month. Thibault is accused by Republicans—citing whistleblower testimony—of shutting down an investigation into Hunter Biden even though some of the details about the case were known to be true.
“FBI officials wanted to take action with respect to this separate investigative information the FBI had in its possession related to Hunter Biden. However, Thibault blocked the FBI from doing what would normally be done,” Grassley told lawmakers from the Senate floor.
“Accordingly, the investigative activity and information could not be advanced as it should’ve been, which means the FBI could have gathered more evidence with respect to Hunter Biden but cut bait instead. And the FBI and Thibault cut bait right before the 2020 presidential election,” he said.
Previously, the senator accused Thibault of allegedly opening an investigation against former President Donald Trump and shut down an investigation into Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden.
Thibault was named several times by Grassley and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) in letters to the FBI, alleging he displayed an animus towards Trump. That included Thibault having shared a Twitter post that called then-President Trump “a psychologically broken, embittered, and deeply unhappy man,” Grassley wrote.
Thibault might have violated the Hatch Act over that Twitter post and others that criticized former Attorney General Bill Barr and other Republicans, said Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz in a report last month.
In July, FBI whistleblowers told Grassley and other GOP lawmakers (pdf) that when the bureau obtained information in 2020 about Hunter Biden’s “criminal financial and related activity,” it was suppressed by Thibault.
In a statement to The Epoch Times on Aug. 30, a spokesperson for Thibault said that “there have been a number of inaccurate media stories and allegations on social media about” the former agent, adding, “Thibault was eligible for retirement and informed his supervisors about a month ago that he intended to retire, following more than 30 years of devoting himself to the protection of the American people.”
Thibault, meanwhile, was not involved in the FBI raid targeting Mar-a-Lago, the spokesperson said. Neither Grassley nor Johnson ever accused Thibault of being involved in the search last month.
The spokesperson also said that he was not involved in the investigation into Hunter Biden and “was not involved in any decisions related to any laptop that may be at issue in that investigation, and he did not seek to close the investigation.”
During Tuesday’s speech on the Senate floor, Grassley said that statements made on Thibault’s behalf did not address key elements of the recent FBI whistleblower disclosures.
Thibault, he said, “didn’t address the shutting down of investigative activity and avenues of information relating to Hunter Biden,” and he “didn’t address his actions to try and improperly mark investigative closings so that they couldn’t be opened in the future.”
Grassley also asserted that Thibault “didn’t address the alleged criminality within the information provided to the FBI about Hunter Biden.”
“Thibault said that he ‘welcomes any investigation’ into the allegations against him,” the GOP senator continued. “Well, Mr. Thibault, come on in. Sit for a transcribed interview with me and my colleagues.”