Revealed: Bill Barr directly intervened to keep the Hunter Biden probe secret before the election by warning against issuing subpoenas and asking prosecutors if their staff could be trusted
- Barr sought to uphold existing DOJ policy against interfering in an election
- Cautioned against any moves that could go public such as a subpoena
- Came despite Trump and GOP lawmakers demanding Hunter probe
- Hunter Biden revealed last week his taxes were under investigation
- Democrats have accused Barr of acting like Trump’s ‘personal lawyer’
- Trump raged on Twitter that Barr ‘will do nothing’
(Daily Mail) Attorney General Bill Barr used the force of his office to instruct prosecutors investigating Hunter Biden not to take any steps that might cause the probe to be publicly revealed in the run-up to the election.
The directive, reported in the Wall Street Journal, was in keeping with existing Justice Department policy against taking investigatory steps close to an election that might interfere with it.
Barr and his team took steps to ‘insulate’ the investigations, according to the report, even as President Donald Trump repeatedly demanded a probe of his political rival’s son.
The revelation, coming after Trump raged publicly against Barr for not revealing the Biden probe in the first place, is likely to worsen the president’s mood and fuel speculation about the attorney general being fired before Joe Biden enters office.
Those instructions were given orally in ‘conversations with prosecutors,’ according to the Journal, which would appear to suggest there is no paper trail for it. They included asking if staff members involved in the situation could be trusted.
The case reflects the deep pressures being navigated by the Justice Department in the wake of 2016 and Trump’s unprecedented and constant calls to investigate his opponents.
Just days before the 2016 elections, then-FBI Director James Comey informed lawmakers that the bureau was investigating new emails uncovered on former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop. The disclosure provided another blow to the Clinton camp, and Hillary Clinton and other aides have cited Comey as helping cause her defeat.
A 2012 policy is intended to keep the Justice Department away from actions that might steer a campaign.
Democrats have blasted Barr throughout his term for several pivotal steps that appear to have benefitted Trump: withholding documents and testimony from Congress during impeachment; the release of a summary of the Mueller probe; and the decision to drop charges against Trump ally Mike Flynn, who the president pardoned after the election.
Barr also made public comments in line with Trump’s concerns about the risk of voter fraud through mail-in ballots.
In October, Republican lawmakers demanded a criminal probe of Hunter Biden, but the DOJ did not respond. Senate Republicans had conducted their own investigation, which they released shortly before the election – in a move that itself would mostly likely have broken Senate mores several years back.
Trump has raged about Barr on Twitter since news of Hunter probe broke. Hunter Biden said last week he was being investigated for tax issues, and said an ‘objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors.’
Information purporting to show his dealings with top officials of Chinese energy giant CEFC were contained on a laptop that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani provided to the New York Post before the election.
Trump on Saturday linked his complaints about Barr to his effort to overturn the election, a day after the Supreme Court refused to hear a Texas case where he sought to intervene.
‘IF Biden gets in, nothing will happen to Hunter or Joe. Barr will do nothing, and the new group of partisan killers coming in will quickly kill it all. Same thing with Durham. We caught them cold, spying, treason & more (the hard part), but “Justice” took too long. Will be DOA!’
The Durham probe refers to the investigation by U.S. attorney John Durham, appointed by Barr to investigate alleged misconduct by the FBI in the Russia probe. That probe disappointed Trump by failing to produce any bombshells in the days before the election.
Hunter Biden has faced a series of new revelations about his dealings, including that he failed to disclose $400,000 in payments from Ukrainian energy company Burisma on his 2014 tax returns, according to an email from his notorious subpoenaed laptop.
Eric Schwerin, president of Biden’s firm Rosemont Seneca, sent the email on January 16, 2017, noting that Hunter Biden’s total income for 2014 was more than $1.2 million, according to NBC News.
It follows confirmation earlier this week that the Justice Department is investigating Hunter Biden’s tax matters, including his lucrative dealings with China.
‘In 2014 you joined the Burisma board and we still need to amend your 2014 returns to reflect the unreported Burisma income,’ says the email from Schwerin.
The email notes that Biden’s 2014 income included the $400,000 from Burisma as well as income from Rosemont Seneca Advisors and a legal firm.
It’s unclear from the email whether Biden went on to amend the tax return. His longtime attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com on Saturday.
NBC News said that it obtained the email from Rudy Giuliani’s attorney Robert Costello, who had access to the notorious laptop that Hunter Biden reportedly left in a Delaware repair shop.
A federal prosecutor in Delaware subpoenaed the laptop’s contents as part of an ongoing probe.
Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings became a point of contention during the election, after the New York Post ran reports about revelations from a discarded laptop.
Biden’s campaign attacked the articles as Russian disinformation and smears.
‘Not one single solitary thing was out of line,’ Joe Biden insisted of his son’s dealings in the second presidential debate. ‘My son has not made money in terms of this thing about, what are you talking about, China.’
Now, it has been revealed that the tax investigation into Hunter Biden was launched in 2018, the year before the elder Biden announced his candidacy for president.
Hunter Biden confirmed the existence of the investigation on Wednesday, saying he learned about it for the first time the previous day.
‘I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors,’ he said in a statement.
It isn’t clear which entities or business dealings might be tied up in the probe, though a person with knowledge of the matter said at least some of focus was on his past work in China.
Federal investigators served a round of subpoenas on Tuesday, including one for Hunter Biden, according to another person familiar with the investigation.
Investigators did not reach out until recently because of Justice Department practice against taking overt investigative actions in the run-up to an election, one of the people said.
President Donald Trump lashed out at Attorney General Bill Barr over revelations that the Justice Department kept investigations into Hunter Biden secret leading up to the election.
‘Why didn’t Bill Barr reveal the truth to the public, before the Election, about Hunter Biden,’ Trump tweeted on Saturday morning from the White House.
‘Joe was lying on the debate stage that nothing was wrong, or going on – Press confirmed. Big disadvantage for Republicans at the polls!’ he continued.
Another emails from 2017 shows that Hunter Biden requested keys from a property manager for his ‘office mates’, including his father Joe Biden and an ’emissary’ from a Chinese business partner.
Joe Biden has repeatedly denied any involvement in his son’s foreign business dealings with China, which were this week revealed to be the target of a federal investigation.
The September 20, 2017 email requests copies of keys from an office building manager in Washington DC for Joe and Jill Biden , along with Joe’s brother James Biden and ’emissary’ Gongweng Dong.
The email, first reported by the Daily Caller and also obtained by Fox News, describes Dong as the emissary of Ye Jianming, the disgraced former chairman of Chinese energy company CEFC.
‘[P]lease have keys made available for new office mates: Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Jim Biden, Gongwen Dong (Chairman Ye CEFC emissary),’ the email reads.