Republican Missouri Senator Josh Hawley pressured FBI Deputy Director Paul Abate on Tuesday, urging him to disclose the FD-1023 document showing the possibility of President Joe Biden in a pay-for-play scheme.
In a separate statement, Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley claimed on Monday that there are recorded phone conversations, treated as an “insurance policy,” involving a “foreign national” who allegedly offered bribes to Hunter Biden and to Joe Biden, who was serving as Barack Obama’s Vice President at that time.
Grassley and James Comer House Oversight Chairman sent a letter to the FBI in May, demanding the release of a document purportedly outlining the bribery scheme.
Comer and a few committee members reviewed the unclassified FD-1023 document in a secure facility in June.
According to Grassley, there were a total of 17 recordings—fifteen recordings of conversations with a foreign national between Hunter Biden and two recordings with President Joe Biden.
During the questioning, Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn inquired about the document’s release. Abate responded that releasing it was a “question of life and death.”
Seeking clarification, Hawley immediately asked, “Explain.”
Abate explained, “It is potentially a question of life and death regarding the source of the information.”
“Okay, so now we have established that the document exists,” Hawley remarked. “That’s progress because the FBI director initially denied its existence. Why did he do that?”
Abate testified, “We have previously acknowledged the existence of the documents.”
Hawley responded, “Yeah after you initially denied it.
Let’s correct the information. The director of the FBI first claimed that the FD-1023 document didn’t exist, then-Senator Grassley said he had read it, and suddenly the FBI director said, ‘Oh, okay, I guess it does exist.’
Now you’re engaging in back-and-forth discussions with committee members about its contents. Why don’t you just release it? Is it classified?”
Abate clarified, “The document is not classified.”
Hawley continued to press, “Will you commit to releasing it?”
Abate replied, “Senator, we will take that back and collaborate with you and this committee–“
“How about a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’? Hawley asked if Abate would commit to releasing the PD-1023 document alleging President Joe Biden accepted $5 million in bribes from a foreign national?” Hawley interrupted.
Abate explained, “The document has already been released to the House Oversight Committee according to a subpoena–“
“Has it been released to this committee?” Hawley interjected.
“We will work with this committee within the established parameters to fulfill the request,” Abate testified.
Hawley persisted, “Asking Abate to release the document to the public. According to the FBI, the document is unclassified. Hawley pressed that the American people should have a right to know what’s in the document.
“Senator, as you are aware, the document could contain sensitive information that could impact the safety of the source that provided it. It has potentially negative implications,” Abate replied.
Hawley suggested, “You can redact the source’s name. We do this regularly.”
“In certain cases, Senator, and you are well aware of this, redaction alone may not be sufficient to protect individuals,” Abate testified before moving on to other topics.