On Thursday, GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley released an internal FBI document regarding unverified allegations on President Joe Biden that he was involved in an illegal foreign bribery scheme.
What is the Complete News?
Previously, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had allowed House members to privately view but not obtain the FBI document, known as FD-1023. But GOP Sen. Grassley and House Oversight Chairman James Comer have been pushing the FBI to release the document publicly.
The Bureau declined to do that. Even Comer had threatened to hold FBI director Christopher Wray until two sides agreed.
On Thursday, Grassley said he was able to release the document due to legally protected disclosures by Justice Department whistleblowers.
However, the FBI document, FD-1023, memorializes claims but doesn’t prove whether allegations made against President Biden are true. It indicates that the FBI informant provided the information to federal investigators in June 2020, but conversations and meetings were dated back to 2015.
What is a Foreign Bribery Scheme?
The scheme refers to a corrupt practice where individuals, companies or public officials from one country offer, or provide bribes to foreign officials or government representatives to gain an unfair advantage in business transactions.
The ultimate goal of such a scheme is to secure business contracts, licences, permits, or other benefits that would not be attainable through legitimate practices. The scheme involves various parties, including companies seeking to expand their international presence.
The bribe may be disguised as legitimate payments, such as consultancy fees, commissions, or gifts. These practices are considered illegal and unethical as they undermine fair competition.
What is Inside the FBI Document?
The FBI document described a 2016 meeting where the CEO of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, Mykola Zlochevsky, claimed that he had made two $5 million payments to the Bidens.
Although he didn’t specify who received the payments. According to the document, it costs $5 million to bribe one Biden and $5 million to bribe another Biden. During the meeting with Zlochevsky, Hunter Biden was on Brusima’s Board, earning $50,000 monthly.
However, President Biden claimed that he was not involved in his son’s work for the Ukrainian energy company and also never received any payment.
How FBI Responded to the Released Document?
The Federal Bureau of Investigation responded to the disclosure of the document with a sharply worded statement. The FBI blasted lawmakers for ignoring their concerns about the dangers of releasing the material.
They explained to Congress how critical it is to keep the material confidential. The release of FD-1023 unnecessarily risks the safety of the confidential source.
Previously, House Democrats released a transcript of separate private comments to former Rudy Giuliani ally Lev Parnas by Zlochvsky. The comments contradict claims that he ever paid Joe Biden.
According to the transcript, Zlochevsky made a statement that no one from Burisma had any contacts with Biden or any other people working for him while Hunter Biden was present on the Board.
Zlochevsky said Biden and any of his staff members were involved in the business deal with the Ukrainian energy company. James Comer, the House Oversight Chairman, accused the Justice Department of looking to bury the document to protect the Bidens.
On the other hand, Grassley thanked the brave whistleblowers for allowing him to disclose the document in public.