Timothy Thibault, the FBI agent alleged to have interfered with an investigation into Hunter Biden, was assigned by the Washington Field Office as “point man” to manage whistleblower Tony Bobulinski, the first son’s former business partner, before the 2020 election — but he suppressed his damning revelations, sources say.
Bobulinski spent over five hours secretly being interviewed by the FBI on Oct. 23, 2020, about his inside knowledge of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden’s involvement in his son’s business deals with China.
The previous day he had revealed in a press conference that Joe Biden was the “Big Guy” due to get a 10% cut of a lucrative joint venture with Chinese energy firm CEFC, according to an email found on Hunter’s abandoned laptop.
Bobulinski gave the FBI the contents of three cellphones containing encrypted messages between Hunter and his business partners, along with emails and financial documents detailing the Biden family’s corrupt influence peddling operation in foreign countries during Joe’s vice presidency.
But his evidence appears to have fallen into the same black hole at the FBI as Hunter’s laptop, never to be seen again.
The tale he told
Bobulinski’s FBI interview came the week after The Post published material from the laptop, including the “Big Guy” message and an email from a Ukrainian energy company executive thanking Hunter for organizing a 2015 meeting in Washington with then-VP Biden.
On the day Bobulinski went to the FBI’s Washington Field Office, 11 days before the 2020 presidential election, he was told not to walk in the front door, but to drive into an underground parking garage at the back of the nondescript eight-storey building in northwest DC, one mile from FBI headquarters.
He was met by James Dawson, then-Special Agent in Charge of the Criminal and Cyber Division, and FBI Supervisory Special agent Giulio Arseni.
They turned him over to two younger agents, William Novak and Garrett Churchill, who conducted the videotaped interview and provided a receipt for Bobulinski’s digital data.
He told them about the work Hunter, his uncle Jim Biden, and partners James Gilliar and Rob Walker did during Joe’s vice presidency, in 2015 and 2016, using the Biden name to help CEFC expand into Oman, Romania, Georgia, Kazakhstan and beyond. He told them about Hunter’s lucrative personal relationship with CEFC chairman Ye Jianming at the time the company was brokering China’s $9 billion acquisition of the Russian state oil giant Rosneft. Ye was arrested in China in 2018 after the deal fell over.
CEFC was the capitalist arm of China’s Belt and Road initiative to extend the communist regime’s influence around the globe.
Bobulinski also told the FBI about Hunter’s associations with oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky, owner of corrupt Ukrainian energy company Burisma, with Romanian billionaire Gabriel Popoviciu, and with retired FBI director Louis Freeh, who was brought in by Hunter as a consultant to help Popoviciu escape corruption charges in Romania.
Novak and Churchill paused the interview to consult with Dawson a number of times, according to one insider.
Arseni came into the room occasionally and an FBI forensic team visited.
Bobulinski and his lawyer were given Thibault’s cellphone number and told that he would be their “point man” at the FBI thereafter.
That night, Bobulinski’s lawyer phoned Thibault, who said he would soon advise on next steps and whether Bobulinski should do a follow-up interview.
But neither Bobulinski nor his lawyer was contacted again. Nor was Bobulinski brought before a Delaware grand jury investigating Hunter.
Dawson moved to the field office in Little Rock, Ark., last July.
Thibault retired from the FBI last week, amid an investigation by the Office of Special Counsel into his anti-Trump social media posts, and after Republican senators made public allegations that he buried Hunter Biden material which would have damaged Joe’s candidacy.
Whistleblowers alleged to Senator Chuck Grassley that, in the same month as Bobulinski’s FBI interview, then-Assistant Special Agent in Charge Thibault ordered an investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged “criminal financial and related activity” be closed.
“In October 2020, an avenue of additional derogatory Hunter Biden reporting was ordered closed at the direction of ASAC Thibault,” Grassley wrote six weeks ago in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“It’s been alleged that the FBI HQ team suggested to the FBI agents that the information was at risk of disinformation; however, according to allegations, [it] was either verified or verifiable via criminal search warrants . . . Thibault allegedly ordered the matter closed without providing a valid reason, as required by FBI guidelines [and] it’s alleged that FBI officials, including ASAC Thibault, subsequently attempted to improperly mark the matter in FBI systems so that it could not be opened in the future.”
Grassley also alleged that FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten had opened an assessment in August 2020, which was used by an FBI Headquarters team to “improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation and caused investigative activity to cease . . . Verified and verifiable derogatory information on Hunter Biden was falsely labeled as disinformation.”
Thibault denied Grassley’s allegations last week. A statement from his pro-bono lawyer said he “did not supervise the investigation of Hunter Biden which . . . is being handled by the Baltimore Field Office.
“In particular, Mr. Thibault was not involved in any decisions related to any laptop that may be at issue in that investigation and he did not seek to close the investigation.”
But Thibault’s statement omits any explanation of what he did with Bobulinski’s information.
Did he give it to the FBI’s Baltimore field office, which was assisting Delaware US Attorney David Weiss’ four-year probe of Hunter for alleged tax evasion, money laundering and foreign agent violations?
If he did, then why has Bobulinski never testified before the grand jury convened by Weiss last year?
Other business partners of Hunter testified and at least one was asked the identity of “the Big Guy,” according to a source.
A credible source
It seems inexplicable that Bobulinski — who met twice with Joe Biden in 2017 over the CEFC deal, and provided information which corroborates damning material on Hunter’s laptop — is not a star witness, especially since the FBI has been in possession of the laptop since December 2019, and knows it is authentic.
It is not as if Bobulinski is not highly credible. He is a decorated former Naval officer with top secret security clearances from the National Security Agency and the Department of Energy. A successful businessman, he has donated to both sides of politics.
In the interests of national security, it was the FBI’s duty to investigate credible evidence suggesting the future president may have been compromised by China via millions of dollars paid to his family.
Even if the FBI was reluctant, after its 2016 Hillary email debacle, to take action that could be deemed political during an election campaign, there is no excuse for not following up with Bobulinski afterward.
The FBI’s failure to do so amounts to interference-by-omission in the 2020 election.