The House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Kentucky) has released the transcript for a former FBI supervisory special agent that confirms IRS Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley’s recent whistleblower testimony.
The FBI official confirmed that FBI headquarters tipped off Secret Service headquarters and the Biden transition team about a planned Hunter Biden interview related to an investigation by US Attorney David Weiss.
According to the agent's testimony, he and Shapley were told not to approach Hunter Biden for an interview. They were asked to wait for Hunter to call. However, instead of receiving a call from Hunter they say they received a call from Hunter's attorney and were never able to interview Hunter.
The former FBI agent worked for the FBI for 20 years and retired in June of last year.
The Oversight Committee has no confidence in U.S. Attorney Weiss as Special Counsel given his inability to prevent the Biden transition team from being contacted and federal agents were not permitted to interview Hunter Biden as planned. Under the Weiss-led investigation, investigators were prevented from taking steps that could have led to Joe Biden, the statute of limitations was allowed to run with respect to certain felonies, and the U.S. Attorney’s office sought to give Hunter Biden an unprecedented sweetheart plea deal. The House Oversight, Judiciary, and Ways and Means Committees will continue our investigation into the Justice Department’s two-tiered system of justice and hold bad actors accountable.Rep. James Comer (R-Kentucky)
The full transcript can be read here.
Below are key excerpts from the transcript.
The former FBI Supervisory Special Agent confirms IRS Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley’s testimony that FBI headquarters tipped off Secret Service headquarters and the Biden transition team about the planned Hunter Biden interview.
Majority Counsel: I'm going to read the bottom of page 18 [from IRS Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley’s transcribed interview before the Ways and Means Committee.] Hunter Biden was assigned Secret Service protection on or around our December 3rd meeting. So we developed a plan for the FBI Los Angeles special agent in charge to reach out at 8 a.m. on December 8th to the Secret Service Los Angeles special agent in charge and tell them that we would be coming to the residence to seek an interview with Hunter Biden and it was part of an official investigation.
However, the night before, December 7th of 2020, I was informed that FBI headquarters had notified Secret Service headquarters and the transition team about the planned actions the following day. This essentially tipped off a group of people very close to President Biden and Hunter Biden and gave this group an opportunity to obstruct the approach of the witness. I'd like to direct your attention to December 7th of 2020. Can you describe to the committee what the initial plan was when the FBI was going to go interview Hunter Biden?
FBI SSA: So the initial plan was to make approaches of multiple witnesses, to include subject Hunter Biden, on December 8th. At the time, we had learned in the days preceding, probably even before December 3rd, that he had received Secret Service protection, as this is ‐‐ I guess the President was President‐elect at the time.
Majority Counsel: And that's President Biden?
FBI SSA: President Biden. So, initially, obviously he had armed Secret Service protection.
Majority Counsel: When you say he, who are you referring to?
FBI SSA: I'm sorry. At least for the purpose of this, Hunter Biden had armed Secret Service protection providing protection at the direction of whomever. And we knew that we could not just, you know, go to the door, or I certainly believed that we just could not go to the door, so that there would be ‐‐ have to be some notification to Secret Service so they would be aware that we were coming. The initial plan was to have the local field office of the Secret Service be notified the morning of to diminish opportunities for anybody else to be notified. I was working with my management on that, as well as headquarter ‐‐ our FBI headquarters.
Majority Counsel: Can I stop you there? When you say management, you don't have to say their name, but can you provide the level of supervisory position that would be?
FBI SSA: Sure. So my ‐‐ again, it was an assistant special agent in charge who I reported to, who also ‐‐ I personally was in contact and ‐‐ or at least as part of a greater call with the special agent in charge of Baltimore Division. And I know that they were in contact with FBI headquarters personnel, which would be inside the Criminal Investigative Division, at least at the deputy assistant director or section chief level.
Majority Counsel: And please continue. What happened?
FBI SSA: So, again, the belief ‐‐ or the intent was we were hoping that there would be notification to the local Secret Service field office or the Los Angeles Field Office of the Secret Service on the morning of, and then ‐‐ that was our intent.
Majority Counsel: Can I stop you? The morning of the interview, correct?
FBI SSA: Morning of ‐‐ this is the evening before. And then ‐‐ on December 7th. Oh, I'm sorry. Yes. I apologize. The notification would be made the morning of the interview.
Majority Counsel: That would be December 8th of 2020?
FBI SSA: Correct.
Majority Counsel: But the conversations you were having with your supervisor in FBI headquarters was December 7th of 2020?
FBI SSA: Correct.
Majority Counsel: So please continue.
FBI SSA: And leading into that. I'm sure there was some discussion before that. On the evening of December 7th, we were informed ‐‐
Majority Counsel: Who's we?
FBI SSA: Well, at least ‐‐ I shouldn't say we. I know I was on the call locally. I don't know if supervisor No. 2 of the Secret ‐‐ or of the IRS was on the call with me. But suffice it to say I was informed that FBI headquarters had contacted Secret Service headquarters and had made a notification at that time, or somewhere around that time on the evening of the 7th.
Majority Counsel: And when say made a notification, can you expand on that, what you mean?
FBI SSA: Of our intent, that we sought to interview Hunter Biden ***
Majority Counsel: Did you also receive information that the transition team was notified as well?
FBI SSA: I don't recall that exactly. I was refreshed by the testimony of supervisor No. 2, and I believe he's correct. I believe I ‐‐ you know, and now getting into the frame of mind, I know I was upset when I learned about it.
Majority Counsel: Why were you upset?
FBI SSA: I felt it was people that did not need to know about our intent. I believe that the Secret Service had to be notified for our safety, for lack of confusion, for deconfliction, which we would do in so many other cases, but I didn't understand why the initial notification.
Majority Counsel: And just to be clear, you don't have access to FBI emails or communications or other evidence that could refresh your recollection because you have since retired?
FBI SSA: Yes. So I don't have an email account. I don't have my phone. Everything was turned in on the day I retired.
*** Minority Counsel: And when you say the transition team, what do you mean?
FBI SSA: Well, just by working in D.C. previously, I know that when one party or, you know, President‐elect, you know, is in that President‐elect phase, their team of advisors or appointees or whomever are considered the transition team. How big and robust that is, I don't ‐‐ you know, I don't have any individual name or roles.
The former FBI Supervisory Special Agent and IRS Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapely were told to wait for a phone call to interview Hunter Biden. However, they never received a phone call and never interviewed Hunter Biden for the investigation.
Majority Counsel: What happened the next day? Did you learn any information given now that Secret Service headquarters knows? Was there any additional information that you learned the following day?
FBI SSA: So, obviously, we were on the West Coast. There were additional interviews across the country, to include the East Coast, which was 3 hours ahead. So we were up early. I was partnered with supervisor number two of the IRS. And as we got together or while we got together on that morning, I was notified by my assistant special agent in charge that we would not even be allowed to approach the house; that the plan, as told to us, was that my information would be given to the Secret Service, to whom I don't know exactly, and, you know, my name, my contact, you know, my cell phone, for example, with the notification that we would like to talk to Hunter Biden; and that I was not to go near the house and to stand by.
Majority Counsel: In your career of 20 years, have you ever been told that you could ‐‐ that you had to wait outside of a target's home until they contacted you?
FBI SSA: Not that I recall. I mean, there have been times where we waited for maybe something else operationally to happen, but, no, not from the point of view of the target, the subject of the investigation.
Majority Counsel: And did Hunter Biden come out and talk to you?
FBI SSA: Well, we weren't allowed to go to the house, so ‐‐
Majority Counsel: Where did you wait?
FBI SSA: A block or two away. Our hotel was nearby. We had known where the residence was, as we, you know, drove by the day before, but we maintained a distance, you know, a block or two away.
Majority Counsel: What happened next?
FBI SSA: We waited a period of time. You know, I will add, it was frustrating, and I know supervisor number two was very frustrated, and I understood that frustration, but I also ‐‐ we had other ‐‐ another interview to conduct. So after a certain period of time, and I don't exactly recall how long, we transitioned to make an attempt to interview another ‐‐ or a witness as part of the investigation.
Majority Counsel: And were you able to interview Hunter Biden ‐‐
FBI SSA: I was not.
Majority Counsel: ‐‐ as part of your investigation?
FBI SSA: No.
*** Minority Counsel: And how did you learn about the change of plan?
FBI SSA: As I said, there was a meeting the night before or a phone call, at least, the 1 night before, since I was in California, where we were told that FBI headquarters had notified Secret Service headquarters in the transition. The change occurred the next morning. I was informed I believe the next morning. I believe I was with supervisory special agent No. 2 of the IRS when we were told we just couldn't make the approach all and that my information would be passed to ‐‐ through the Secret Service to the subject, Mr. Biden.