The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee had a hearing regarding an allegation of a bribery scheme between President Joe Biden and a Ukrainian businessman. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Deputy Director Paul Abbate’s refusal to answer questions regarding the bribery was “disgraceful.”
Last month, a “highly credible” whistleblower brought to light an FBI report, FD-1023, in which the informant alleges then-Vice President Biden received a payout of $5 million as a bribe from an executive of Burisma Holdings—the “corrupt” Ukrainian natural gas firm where his son, Hunter, held a seat on the board.
The FBI also allegedly has 17 voice recordings of evidence of the bribery scheme; fifteen are recordings of the Ukrainian executive and Hunter Biden, while the other two recordings are of the Ukrainian and now-President Biden.
Allegedly, the Ukrainian executive kept the tapes as “insurance” of the events.
Cruz explained to Abbate that as a government employee with knowledge of the report, Abbate has an “obligation to the American people to be candid about evidence of corruption by the president of the United States.”
The senator then asked the deputy director if the FBI has the report and the records, to which Abbate refused to answer. Cruz asked why he wouldn’t answer his question; once again, Abbate refused an answer. Instead, he informed Cruz that the FBI had allowed the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Committee to read the case information last week.
Cruz moved on, asking for a simple “yes” or “no” answer as to whether or not the FBI has the 17 voice recordings laying out the bribery scheme. Once again, there was no comment from Abbate.
Cruz slammed the FBI, claiming they are “stonewalling” as a way to protect President Biden. He continued, pointing out that if the allegations were false, President Biden could disprove them by calling for the report and recordings to be released publicly.
“No one is stonewalling,” Abbate responded, but he refused to expand on this claim. When Cruz stated Abbate was failing to answer his questions, Abbate simply told him he was answering questions “within the parameters that we [the FBI] operate in.”
Condemning the FBI once again, Cruz said, “That’s the problem the FBI has right now, an unlimited hubris that you believe you are unaccountable. You don’t believe you’re accountable to the United States Congress, and you don’t believe you’re accountable to the American people. And you are doing damage.”
Cruz pressed on, asking Abbate to “provide to this committee—not the House, the Senate Judiciary Committee—the FD-1023 … and the 17 recordings” so the committee could “assess the specific credible evidence of whether Joe Biden personally took a $5 million bribe from a foreign national.”
Although Cruz requested a simple “yes” or “no” answer, Abbate refused to provide one. “We will take that back, and we’ll work with you,” said Abbate.
Abbate refused to comment on any further questions from Cruz.
“That’s disgraceful,” Cruz asserted. “That’s disgraceful, Deputy Director Abbate. Disgraceful.”