A senior Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) official would not commit to releasing the document at the center of a political firestorm related to an alleged bribe to the family of President Joe Biden.
FBI Deputy Direct Paul Abbate testified before Congress this week regarding an FBI document that reportedly outlines bribes made to then-Vice President Biden and his son Hunter.
When asked directly about releasing the document by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Abbete said that the agency would work with the Senate Judiciary Committee “within the parameters that are established to meet the request.”
Despite the fact that the document was described as unclassified, Abbate said that its release could risk the safety of the informant responsible for the information.
“You can redact the source’s name,” Hawley said. “We do this all the time.”
Abbate said that on some occasions “that is not sufficient to protect people.” He added that he hoped Hawley “would take that seriously too.”
This caused Hawley to respond that he did take it seriously and that he also “take seriously the fact that your institution has repeatedly abused its authority, has repeatedly targeted political opponents.”
He then cited the FBI’s targeting of pro-life protesters and said that it “treated parents as domestic terrorists because of their speech.”
Hawley asked again about releasing the document.
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) June 14, 2023
The deputy director was then questioned by Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who asked about alleged tapes recorded by a Ukrainian businessman discussing business with the former vice president and his son Hunter.
Abbate said that he had “no idea if there are any voice recordings or not.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) revealed the reported existence of these tapes, which was redacted from the FBI document in question.
He said that the recordings were held as a means of “insurance.”
The reported bribes were linked to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. Hunter Biden served on the company’s board of directors. The younger Biden was paid more than $80,000 per month in that role.