Infuriated that their warnings went unheeded, FBI officials had admonished House Oversight Committee Republicans several times not to publicly release unverified information gained through a confidential informant, only to see them do just that, The Hill reports. The tip from the source — memorialized in an FD-1023 form — was never corroborated by the FBI, but it was nonetheless put into the public sphere Thursday as Republicans released what they see as central evidence into whether then-Vice President Biden accepted a bribe. The release comes after committee members were told “the FBI expressly does not consent to the materials’ public disclosure or further dissemination” and that “the contents of the materials should not be discussed or shared in any form with anyone beyond Members and staff,” according to a disclaimer obtained by The Hill presented to lawmakers before viewing the form. In the form, the source relays conversations with Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, where Hunter Biden once served on the board.
The FBI's public statements about the need to protect informants were made even more explicit in private correspondence with House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), obtained by The Hill on Thursday.
A June 9 letter to Comer came the day after the full committee was permitted to review the document in the Capitol’s sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF), saying members ignored explicit instructions by FBI briefers. “The Committee and its Members were specifically told that ‘wider distribution could pose a risk of physical harm to FBI sources or others.’ The full text of this admonishment is included below for your reference. We are concerned that Members disregarded the Committee’s agreement that information from the document should not be further disclosed. Several Committee Members publicized specific details regarding their recollection of confidential source reporting purportedly referenced in the document,” the bureau wrote in the letter. Comer on Thursday defended the release, calling the information part of the FBI’s “record.” “In the FBI’s record, the Burisma executive claims that he didn’t pay the ‘big guy’ directly but that he used several bank accounts to conceal the money. That sounds an awful lot like how the Bidens conduct business: using multiple bank accounts to hide the source and total amount of the money,” he said in a statement.