FBI Analyst Who Downplayed Hunter Biden Info Earlier Hit for Discipline FBI logo (Dreamstime)
By Solange Reyner | Wednesday, 27 July 2022 12:05 PM EDT
FBI analyst Brian Auten, who labeled negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation in August 2020, shutting down a probe into Hunter's financial and foreign business activities, was referred for disciplinary action months before doing so, according to whistleblowers who spoke with the Washington Examiner.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, earlier this week in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray said whistleblowers were claiming that the FBI had attempted to downplay or discredit potentially damaging information regarding Hunter Biden.
"If these allegations are true and accurate, the Justice Department and FBI are — and have been — institutionally corrupted to their very core to the point in which the United States Congress and the American people will have no confidence in the equal application of the law," Grassley wrote in the letter.
Auten, a supervisory intelligence agent, was involved in the Trump-Russia investigation, including interviewing Igor Danchenko, reportedly the main source for British ex-spy Christopher Steele's dossier in 2017.
He was referred for disciplinary action to the Office of Professional Responsibility following the publication of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz's December 2019 report on the Trump-Russia investigation.
Horowitz said the FBI's interviews with Danchenko "raised significant questions about the reliability" of the dossier.
The whistleblower disclosures "appear to indicate that there was a scheme in place among certain FBI officials to undermine derogatory information connected to Hunter Biden by falsely suggesting it was disinformation," Grassley said.