FBI: We have "no idea" if there are any Biden bribery tapes

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

When Chuck Grassley first made his startling claims that tape recordings might exist of conversations between a Burisma boss and both Joe and Hunter Biden discussing bribery, the conservative media immediately took notice. Sadly, it was almost exclusively conservative media outlets. A couple of plucky reporters did try asking Biden about it, but he did nothing more than laugh and walk away. So as usual, it was left to the Republicans in Congress to try to get more information. Yesterday, FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate was being questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn asked him about the allegations coming from the FD-1023 form and the possibility that such tapes might exist. Abbate did not appear to be interested in the topic and said that he had “no idea” if that was true. (NY Post)


FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate on Tuesday denied having any knowledge about the purported existence of audio recordings of President Biden and a Ukrainian businessman who allegedly bribed him while he was vice president.

“I have no idea if there are voice recordings or not,” Abbate told Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on Tuesday during questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Monday accused the FBI of redacting information about the recordings from an informant file alleging a $5 million bribery scheme that the bureau allowed House Oversight Committee members to read last week.

Abbate appeared to attempt to change the subject to the document itself rather than its contents. He reminded the panel that the FD-1023 form had been redacted to “protect the source,” adding that it is potentially “a matter of life and death.”

I won’t argue with that entirely, though perhaps not for the same reasons that Abbate was clearly trying to project. If I had any dirt on the Bidens at this stage of the game and people found out about it, I’d probably be double-checking to make sure my life insurance was up to date. But that’s not really the main point here.

We’re talking about the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They knew about these allegations at least as far back as 2017. The form in question was created in 2020. If there was credible testimony suggesting that audio tapes might exist of the President and his son discussing bribes worth millions of dollars with someone from an adversarial nation, don’t you suppose they might have had someone look into that? Even if it was just one person? Perhaps in their spare time?


Abbate could have given one of several answers that were better than this. He might have said that the Bureau had investigated the matter and had been unable to locate any such tapes. Alternately, he could have said that they found the tapes, but they can’t release them because it might impact an ongoing investigation. (Of course, we would have all scoffed at that.) Almost anything would have been better than “I have no idea.”

It’s been more than five years. How can you possibly have no idea? Have they had anyone look into this at all? Doesn’t it seem like the sort of thing that the FBI might be at least mildly curious about? This is all turning into a disgusting joke at this point. And sadly, the joke is on all of us. Hopefully, the oversight committees will get to the bottom of it all, but even that really won’t matter. No matter how much rock-solid evidence they turn up, the current Justice Department will never bring charges against Biden and they won’t bring charges against themselves. But that information will be lurking out there when the next Republican President is sworn in. Let’s all pray that person is up to the task.

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John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024