EXCLUSIVE – Former Attorney General William Barr suggests that Attorney General Merrick Garland should release the FBI-produced FD-1023 document – alleging a criminal bribery scheme involving President Joe Biden – to Republican lawmakers, provided necessary steps are taken to protect the life and safety of the confidential human source in the document.
Barr’s suggestion comes amid an outcry that the Justice Department is not evenhanded with respect to investigations of former president Donald Trump and the Biden family.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, Barr said Special Counsel Jack Smith’s unprecedented indictment of Trump for his mishandling of classified documents “understandably sparked ire over a double standard.”
“I think AG Garland should move quickly with concrete steps to address it,” Barr said.
“The public needs to be assured that the two pending investigations about the Bidens – the one about mishandling of classified material and the broader one in Delaware – are being pursued with the same rigor as the case against Trump,” Barr told Fox News Digital.
Barr said this assurance is “especially needed now because of recent reports that an FBI whistleblower is suggesting some shenanigans possibly directed at undermining the Delaware investigation,” he said.
U.S. Attorney David Weiss has been leading an investigation into potentially criminal business dealings by the president’s son, Hunter Biden, for the better part of four-years.
“In light of the slow pace of that investigation, these reports are, frankly, very concerning. Chairman Comer and key senators are trying to get to the bottom of this,” he said.
Fox News Digital reported earlier this month that the contents of the FD-1023 allege that Joe Biden was paid $5 million by an executive of the Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, where his son Hunter Biden sat on the board, in a bribery scheme that involved influence over U.S. policy decisions, according to sources familiar with the document.
The document, dated June 30, 2020, is the FBI’s interview with a “highly credible” confidential human source who detailed multiple meetings and conversations he or she had with a top Burisma executive over the course of several years, starting in 2015.
Earlier this month the FBI allowed the House Oversight Committee to review the document with redactions after Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., threatened to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress for initially defying a subpoena for the document.
House Republicans are still demanding the FBI release the document. Last week, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Congress “still lacks a full and complete picture with respect to what that document really says.”
“Under these circumstances, I think the AG should consider providing Chairman Comer, and his Senate supporters, the 1023 report they’ve been seeking, subject to terms necessary to protect the life and safety of a confidential source,” Barr said.
Barr previously told Fox News that during his tenure the FD-1023 document was reviewed by U.S. Attorney Scott Brady and his team in Pittsburgh as part of a screening process to determine the veracity or relevance of information.
Barr said there was “no sign” of the FD-1023 to be disinformation and was therefore routed to Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney Weiss in Delaware – who was and is still working a probe focusing on Hunter Biden.
“It’s murky,” Barr told Fox News Digital, “but it seems the whistleblower is suggesting someone at FBI headquarters tried to shunt aside the same or similar allegations covered in the 1023.”
“I know DOJ has a strong policy against sharing these raw reports, and for good reason. Any FBI director would have had Wray’s reticence about turning it over, and I think he did his best to accommodate Chairman Comer,” Barr said.
“But the AG is ultimately in charge and should make the call how far to go here because of the unique situation and the need to weigh and balance the public interests involved. There might be specific factors here that call for restrictions, but otherwise the overall situation warrants leaning forward,” he said.
Barr added that, “Some of the same folks on the Hill did the country a great service in 2017 and beyond by probing and exposing the false Russian collusion claims.”
“They got it right before anybody else – including the DOJ. Letting them take a look at this could be a good thing, as long as we protect the safety of our sources,” he said.
Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman contributed to this report.