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Grassley Criticized for Releasing Lightly Redacted FBI Document

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is in the political spotlight for releasing a lightly-redacted document detailing unfounded allegations of Biden family corruption and bribery, The Hill reports. The FBI admonished Grassley and other senators for releasing the form, saying it “risks the safety” of the confidential source, who claims the Bidens “pushed” a Ukrainian oligarch to pay them $10 million. According to the form released by Grassley and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), the FBI’s informant, known as a CHS, or confidential human source, met in 2016 with Mykola Zlochevsky, the CEO of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, who claimed that he made a pair of $5 million payments to the Bidens. He did not specify who was on the receiving end of those alleged bribes. The informant also claimed that Zlochevsky has 17 audiotapes, including two with then-Vice President Biden and the remaining 15 with Hunter Biden, though it has been questioned whether they even exist. There has not been any evidence linking President Biden to the payments or Hunter Biden’s foreign work, and the White House has strongly denied any improper action.

Grassley said on Thursday that the move was made for the sake of transparency and that Americans “can now read this document for themselves, without the filter of politicians or bureaucrats.” His office added that it was obtained via legal avenues and downplayed claims by the FBI that the safety of the CHS could be at risk. But that has in no way calmed the waters as Democrats increase their attacks over what they view as unsubstantiated claims that were already dismissed in full by the Trump administration. Democratic staff on the House Oversight Committee wrote in a memo to House Democrats on Monday that Grassley and Comer’s actions were “in brazen disregard” of the safety of FBI sources and “the integrity of its investigations.” Supporters of the longtime Iowa senator, however, maintain that he did nothing nefarious by releasing the document. They say that his track record should speak for itself and that if he is harping on a subject, there’s a good reason. “People willing to analyze his oversight history know that when he says something, you should pay attention because he’s not one to shoot from the hip,” said Michael Zona, a former Grassley staffer, and a GOP strategist, adding that the senator “usually knows a lot more than what he says.”


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