The sudden retirement of an FBI assistant special agent in charge (ASAC) accused of bias in his handling of the investigation into Hunter Biden’s notorious laptop is no coincidence, according to former Utah U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman.
Speaking on Fox News’s “The Story” this Tuesday, he said he believes agent Tim Thibault’s abrupt resignation is one of many signs that the FBI is coming apart at the seams as its chickens come home to roost.
The other signs include podcaster Joe Rogan’s interview with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Rep. Jim Jordan’s vows of a 2023 investigation, and Attorney General Merrick Garland’s new political appointees rule.
Listen to Tolman below:
(Video: Fox News)
“I see an unraveling in the FBI and the Department of Justice. Or perhaps it’s damage control. It’s no coincidence in my mind that you have the Joe Rogan interview that reveals that the FBI clearly made a connection of Russian disinformation in the Hunter Biden release. You then have some of the specific agents in question like Tim Thibault,” he said.
“Not to mention you have Jim Jordan, who goes on and is indicating they’re going to do a lot of oversight if they regain control of the House. … Not to mention Merrick Garland now has announced a new rule with political appointees.”
Announced on Tuesday, the rule change by Garland prohibits political appointees to the DOJ from engaging in “partisan political activities.”
“The policy change, announced in a memo a little more than two months before the midterm elections, reverses a long-standing department policy that allowed political appointees, also known as non-career employees, to attend fundraisers and campaign events as passive bystanders,” according to NBC News.
“As Department employees, we have been entrusted with the authority and responsibility to enforce the laws of the United States in a neutral and impartial manner. In fulfilling this responsibility, we must do all we can to maintain public trust and ensure that politics — both in fact and appearance — does not compromise or affect the integrity of our work,” Garland wrote.
NEW: Merrick Garland had placed new restrictions on DOJ political appointees’ political activities ahead of the 2022 midterms. pic.twitter.com/QNtVAykahh
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 30, 2022
Why the sudden change in policy?
“I think it’s because it’s starting to get away from them. I think the fact that the politics of their agents, the politics of the office, not being able to contain it in-house, is causing them to say ‘we better do something so that we can then say, hey, once we saw it in real-time, we took care of it.’ And unfortunately, it’s too late,” Tolman speculated.
His remarks came four days after Thibault was escorted from the FBI’s premises in disgrace after his untimely resignation.
His resignation was a direct result of pressure applied by congressional Republicans, who, though not the majority in either branch of Congress, have been investigating the FBI’s handling of the Hunter Biden laptop.
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) August 30, 2022
Specifically, Sen. Chuck Grassley has been hounding Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray about Thibault since May, when he first broached the agent’s bias in a letter written to both men.
“ASAC Thibault has demonstrated a pattern of active public partisanship, such as using his official title for public partisan posts relating to his superiors and matters under the FBI’s purview, that is likely a violation of his ethical obligations as an FBI employee. Accordingly, his actions present a grave risk of political infection and bias in his official decision-making process, creating serious questions with respect to oversight of investigative matters under his purview,” that letter reads.
“For example, ASAC Thibault’s social media postings, comments, and ‘likes’ (i.e. public expressions of appreciation, validation and approval) demonstrate a pattern of improper commentary related to, for example, ongoing FBI investigations including those under his purview,” it continues. “It is noteworthy that ASAC Thibault’s LinkedIn network includes current and former FBI personnel and the general public is able to review his social media content, which includes his political views, biases and objections.”
During the summer, whistleblowers emerged with even more damning allegations concerning Thibault, namely that he’d sought to prevent the agents under him from properly investigating Hunter Biden on the basis that the allegations against him were part of a “disinformation” smear.
“Whistleblowers … allege that Thibault and other FBI officials sought to falsely portray as disinformation evidence acquired from multiple sources that provided the FBI derogatory information related to Hunter Biden’s financial and foreign business activities, even though some of that information had already been or could be verified,” according to a recent press release from Grassley’s office.
“In August of 2020, FBI supervisory intelligence analyst Brian Auten opened an assessment, which was used by a team of agents at FBI headquarters to improperly discredit and falsely claim that derogatory information about Biden’s activities was disinformation, causing investigative activity and sourcing to be shut down.”
NEW → Multiple @FBI whistleblowers, including those in senior positions, are raising the alarm to Ranking Member @ChuckGrassley about tampering by senior FBI and Justice Department officials in politically sensitive investigations.https://t.co/y3WILt1Tjy
— Senate Judiciary Republicans (@SenJudiciaryGOP) July 25, 2022
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