One day before a former FBI supervisory agent met with the House Oversight Committee to discuss the joint FBI-Internal Revenue Service investigation of Hunter Biden, he was told to keep his mouth shut.
In the letter, Jones wrote that the Justice Department “expects that you will decline to respond to questions seeking non-public information likely covered by one or more components of executive privilege or other significant confidentiality interests, in particular information about deliberations or ongoing investigative activity in law enforcement matters.”
“You should instead refer such questions to the FBI’s Office of Congressional Affairs,” he wrote.
“Consistent with longstanding practice, this will afford the Department the full opportunity to consider particular questions and possible accommodations that may fulfill the Committee’s legitimate need for information while protecting Executive Branch confidentiality interests,” he wrote.
More than once in the letter, Jones used the phrase “ongoing criminal investigation and prosecution.”
Jones explained that only when a case is closed should anyone talk about it. Hunter Biden has reached a plea deal to settle the long-running investigation of his taxes and is scheduled to appear in court on July 26.
“Specifically, the Committee has stated an interest in what the Committee has described to you as certain events that took place in December 2020 as part of this investigation. As the Department recently emphasized when affirming that U.S. Attorney David Weiss will appear before the House Committee on the Judiciary ‘at an appropriate time, consistent with the law and Department policy,’ the Department’s longstanding policy is to seek ‘wherever possible to provide information about closed, rather than open, matters,’” the letter said.
Although the individual in question was cited by the House Oversight Committee as a former FBI supervisory agent, the letter said leaving the agency did not mean the former agent was exempt from its rules.
“Department officials, including those who have left the Department, are obligated to protect non-public information they learned in the course of their work. Such information could be subject to various privileges, including law enforcement, deliberative process, attorney work product, and attorney-client privileges, and privacy interests. Current and former Department officials also must protect classified information, sources and methods, and grand jury information protected by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e),” the letter said.
According to a statement on the website of the House Oversight Committee, the former FBI supervisory agent whose name was not used met with the panel Monday and confirmed earlier IRS whistleblower testimony that there was interference in their investigation.
“Today, a former FBI supervisory special agent assigned to the FBI’s Wilmington office and the Biden criminal investigation confirmed key portions of the IRS whistleblower’s testimony,” House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer said in a statement.
“The night before the interview of Hunter Biden, both Secret Service headquarters and the Biden transition team were tipped off about the planned interview,” the Kentucky Republican said.
“On the day of the Hunter Biden interview, federal agents were told to stand by and could not approach Hunter Biden — they had to wait for his call. As a result of the change in plans, IRS and FBI criminal investigators never got to interview Hunter Biden as part of the investigation,” he said.
The statement noted that in an interview, the former FBI agent told the committee that IRS Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley and the former agent had planned to interview multiple witnesses on Dec. 8, 2020, information that was leaked to the Secret Service and the transition team of then-President-elect Joe Biden.
“This was not the original plan by the career agents, which frustrated their investigative efforts because people found out who didn’t need to know,” the statement said the former agent told the committee, adding that the former FBI agent said this was a precedent because he had never been told to wait for the subject of an investigation to contact him.