The deputy director of the FBI essentially admitted under oath that a document allegedly containing evidence that then-Vice President Joe Biden took millions of dollars in bribe money from a Ukrainian national during testimony on Monday.
Under grilling from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), a former state attorney general, Paul Abbate said that the document — an “FD-1023″ that House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) has said contains information indicating that Bident took a $5 million bribe — is unclassified, but would not commit to releasing it to the public.
Here is a partial transcript:
SEN. JOSH HAWLEY: You just started to answer Sen. Blackburn’s question that not releasing the 10-23 or talking about it is a matter of life and death, a “question of life and death,” you said. Explain. For whom?
FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR ABBATE: It is potentially a question of life and death with regard to the source of the information.
HAWLEY: So no, we’ve confirmed that the document exists, that’s progress because the FBI director originally denied that it exists. Why did he do that?
ABBATE: We have already and previously acknowledged the existence of the document.
HAWLEY: Yeah, after you first denied it. When a member of this committee read it. Let’s get the record straight, the FBI director originally said it doesn’t exist. Then Sen. Grassley said he’s read it. Then he said, “Oh, OK, gotcha, I guess it does exist.” Now you’re going back and forth with members of this committee about what’s in it. Why don’t you just release it? Is it classified?
ABBATE: The document is not classified.
HAWLEY: OK. How about just a yes or no? Will you commit to releasing this unclassified document that alleges that the President Of the United States has taken $5 million or more in bribes from a foreign nation?
ABBATE: The document has already been released pursuant to a subpoena to the House Oversight Committee–
HAWLEY: Well, how about to this committee?
ABBATE: We will work with this committee within the parameters that are established.
HAWLEY: Will you release the document to the public? It’s unclassified. Don’t you think the American people have the right to see it?
ABBATE: Senator, the document, as you know, contains sensitive information that has bearing on the life of the source of the information, potentially.
HAWLEY: You can redact the source’s name, we do this all the time.
ABBATE: In some instances, senator, I know you know this, that is not sufficient to protect people. And that’s what we strive to do each and every day, and I would hope you take that seriously too.
HAWLEY: Oh, I take it very seriously, but I also take seriously the fact that your institution has repeatedly abused its authority.
“We kept fighting, and we prevailed. When we got access to the suspicious activity reports, the mainstream media said there was nothing there,” he said.
Comer asserted that both the DOJ and the FBI lack transparency with the American people, citing their inconsistent excuses as evidence.