A senior FBI official in the bureau’s Washington field office is out after coming under congressional scrutiny for suspected political bias in handling the investigation of Hunter Biden.
The Washington Times is reporting that Timothy Thibault, an assistant special agent in charge, was forced to leave his post over accusations by GOP Senators that he undermined the Hunter Biden probe.
Mr. Thibault was seen exiting the bureau’s elevator on Friday. He was escorted by two or three “headquarters-looking types,” according to the Times. Thibault who was at the FBI for more than 25 years was recently placed on leave while an investigation was launched.
FBI Director Chris Wray told the Senate after being informed of possible bias said:
“I should say that when I read the letter that describes the kinds of things that you’re talking about, I found it deeply troubling.
“I feel very strongly, and I have communicated consistently since I started as director, that our folks need to make sure that they’re not just doing the right thing, that they’re doing it in the right way and that they avoid even the appearance of bias or lack of objectivity,” Wray said.
Wray said of the accusation the FBI downplayed the Hunter Biden story as Russian disinformation:
“Sometimes this gets lost in a lot of public commentary.
“We are not investigating whether or not information we see is truthful or false.
“Our focus in the malign foreign influence space is whether or not there is a foreign adversary pushing the information.”
Sen. Kennedy grilled Wray on Thibault’s alleged partisan actions on social media over the past few years, such as “liking” a Washington Post article titled “William Barr has gone rogue” and tweeting to Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) that her father — former Vice President Dick Cheney — was a “disgrace.”
Kennedy also mentioned Thibault’s retweet of a Lincoln Project post saying that “Donald Trump is a psychologically broken, embittered, and deeply unhappy man.”
Kennedy then pressed Wray on allegations that Thibault — who Kennedy said worked on both the investigation of links between Trump and Russia and the ongoing Hunter Biden probe — had “covered up derogatory info about Mr. Biden while working at the FBI.”
Wray gave similar answers to Kennedy’s questioning on both the social media posts and covering up of information, saying that he’d seen “descriptions to that effect” but wanted to be “careful” of not interfering with any ongoing personnel matters. But he did concede to finding the allegations about the social media posts “troubling.”