Prosecutors and FBI agents involved in the Hunter Biden investigation have been the target of threats and harassment from people who think they have not been tough enough on the president’s son, according to administration officials and exclusively obtained congressional testimony. by NBC News.
It is part of a dramatic increase in threats against FBI agents that has coincided with attacks on the FBI and the Justice Department by Republican congressmen and former President Donald Trump, who have accused both agencies of participating in a conspiracy to subvert the justice in the midst of two federal accusations of Trump.
The threats have led the FBI to create an independent unit to investigate and mitigate them, according to an unpublished transcript of congressional testimony.
“We have created an entire threat unit to address the threats that FBI employee facilities are receiving,” Jennifer L. Moore, then the FBI’s executive deputy director for human resources, told the House Judiciary Committee in June. “It is unprecedented. “It’s a number we’ve never had before.”
“There will be about 10 people when it’s finished,” he said. “We are still in the process of staffing right now. But their only daily mission is threats to FBI employees at the facility.”
Moore told lawmakers that threats to FBI agents and facilities had more than doubled: There were more in the six months from October to March than in the previous 12 months. More recent data were not available; Officials say the pace of threats increased after the FBI investigations into Trump became public last summer and have not slowed since.
The FBI declined to comment.
Natalie Bara, president of the FBI Agents Association, a nonprofit group that advocates for current and retired agents, said in a statement: “FBI special agents and their families should never be threatened with violence, even by do his job. This is not a partisan or political issue. “Calls for violence against law enforcement are unacceptable and should be condemned by all leaders.”
U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf, who had been part of U.S. Attorney David Weiss’ team investigating Hunter Biden, received such a barrage of credible threats that she sought security help from the U.S. Marshals Service, according to unpublished testimony from a U.S. Marshals Service official. FBI before the House. Judiciary Committee last week. Two IRS agents involved in the case accused Wolf of making decisions that appeared favorable to Biden. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.
Special Counsel Jack Smith and his team have long been protected by an armed security detail, as has Robert Hur, the special counsel appointed to investigate classified documents found in President Joe Biden’s home and office.
An intelligence bulletin last year said the FBI was investigating an unprecedented number of threats against agents and facilities in the wake of the August 2022 search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. A few days into the search, a man who was present at the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot was shot and killed after trying to break into the FBI field office in Cincinnati with a bulletproof vest and a rifle.
The FBI told House Judiciary Committee aides that Laura Dehmlow, who headed the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force and has been accused by congressional Republicans of suppressing social media and news coverage of the Hunter Biden’s laptop, was the target of multiple threats after his name was linked to the Biden story, according to two congressional officials.
A source familiar with the matter said some FBI personnel have been victims of “hits,” in which someone calls with a false report that prompts armed police to rush to a home.
Last week, an FBI agent involved in the Hunter Biden investigation told the House Judiciary Committee that the threats have extended to the agents’ family members.
“Things toward their families have absolutely escalated,” Thomas Sobocinski, an FBI agent involved in the investigation, said in a transcribed interview that has been widely circulated. “[T]The feeling of the employees and especially the feeling of their families is, yes, they feel threatened.”
In response, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told Sobocinski that committee counsel Bruce Castor “faced the same type of things” when he defended Trump in the impeachment process.
“There’s no place for those kinds of threats and those kinds of things,” Jordan said.