Escorts: Did FBI agent in Hunter probe retire after whistleblower allegations -- or get fired?

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Do people who retire from the FBI routinely get the Frank Cross/Code 9 treatment from Scrooged? Or did something else happen to Timothy Thibault, the agent handling the Hunter Biden probe accused of manipulating the investigation to benefit Democrats? Sen. Chuck Grassley published whistleblower complaints from inside the FBI about Thibault’s actions, leading the bureau to remove him from his assignments over the summer.


Last week, they also removed him from the building under escort, CBS News reports this morning. The FBI is characterizing this as a retirement, but …

Timothy Thibault, a top-level FBI agent who had been under fire for his role in investigations regarding President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, resigned late last week and was walked out of the FBI, two U.S. officials confirmed. But these officials also said that Thibault had reached retirement age, and they added that all of those who retire hand over their badge and gun and are escorted out of the building.

Thibault, who worked in the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., had recently been removed from his position as assistant special agent in charge at the FBI’s Washington Field Office, which covers all of the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia.

Thibault came under fire earlier this year from Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley who had accused him of “improper conduct” in the Hunter Biden investigation, alleging that Thibault had tried to close the probe.

The writing appeared to be on the wall for Thibault at the beginning of August. FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Thibault’s social-media postings while running an investigation were “deeply troubling.”  At that time, Wray described Thibault’s status as “on leave” when pressed by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA):

Kennedy grilled Wray on Thibault’s alleged partisan actions on social media over the past few years, such as “liking” a Washington Post article titled “William Barr has gone rogue” and tweeting to Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) that her father — former Vice President Dick Cheney — was a “disgrace.” Kennedy also mentioned Thibault’s retweet of a Lincoln Project post saying that “Donald Trump is a psychologically broken, embittered, and deeply unhappy man.”

Kennedy then pressed Wray on allegations that Thibault — who Kennedy said worked on both the investigation of links between Trump and Russia and the ongoing Hunter Biden probe — had “covered up derogatory info about Mr. Biden while working at the FBI.”

Wray gave similar answers to Kennedy’s questioning on both the social media posts and covering up of information, saying that he’d seen “descriptions to that effect” but wanted to be “careful” of not interfering with any ongoing personnel matters. But he did concede to finding the allegations about the social media posts “troubling.”

“I should say that when I read the letter that describes the kinds of things that you’re talking about, I found it deeply troubling,” he told Kennedy.


Less than four weeks later, Thibault returns from “leave” to get walked out of the building. Does that sound like a retirement — or a Frank Cross Code 9? Or maybe a bit of both?

Thibault may not be the only agent that will get a Code 9 either. Don’t forget that Grassley wrote two letters to Wray over the last three months about whistleblower allegations involving the Hunter Biden probe. The first regarding Thibault came at the end of May. Grassley’s second letter in late July mentioned Thibault but focused more closely on allegations against Brian Auten, who also is connected to the FBI probe that produced the raid on Mar-a-Lago.

According to Grassley, Auten isn’t just being accused of political bias based on his social-media postings. Grassley told Wray that Auten was actively corrupting the FBI investigation for partisan political purposes. Grassley also thinks Auten tried to set a trap for the Judiciary Committee to discredit their own investigation:

First, it’s been alleged that the FBI developed information in 2020 about Hunter Biden’s criminal financial and related activity. It is further alleged that in August 2020, FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten opened an assessment which was used by a FBI Headquarters (“FBI HQ”) team to improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation and caused investigative activity to cease. Based on allegations, verified and verifiable derogatory information on Hunter Biden was falsely labeled as disinformation.

The basis for how the FBI HQ team selected the specific information for inclusion in Auten’s assessment is unknown, but in more than one instance the focus of the FBI HQ team’s attention involved derogatory information about Hunter Biden. Accordingly, the allegations provided to my office appear to indicate that there was a scheme in place among certain FBI officials to undermine derogatory information connected to Hunter Biden by falsely suggesting it was disinformation.

Importantly, it’s been alleged to my office that Auten’s assessment was opened in August 2020, which is the same month that Senator Johnson and I received an unsolicited and unnecessary briefing from the FBI that purportedly related to our Biden investigation and a briefing for which the contents were later leaked in order paint the investigation in a false light.


There are still a couple of shoes left to drop here, and maybe much more than that. If Republicans manage to take control of the Senate in the midterms, expect all of these figures and more to get subpoenaed, especially in regard to Grassley’s biggest allegation here of the FBI attempting to cross a congressional committee. There may be more Code 9s on the way.

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