A former US attorney said the FBI hindered his ability to investigate first son Hunter Biden’s work for Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma — and that special counsel David Weiss skipped a briefing on bribery allegations into the president and his son, according to congressional testimony reviewed by The Post.
Scott Brady, the top federal prosecutor in Pittsburgh from 2017 to 2021, recounted the “challenging working relationship” with the FBI and Weiss’ office in Delaware during an Oct. 23 closed-door interview with the House Judiciary Committee.
“I think there was reluctance on the part of the FBI to really do any tasking related to our assignment,” Brady told Judiciary members and staff, clarifying that his role involved “looking into allegations of Ukrainian corruption broadly” as well as “anything that intersected with Hunter Biden and his role in Burisma.”
Brady said he had been tasked with the role by Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Seth DuCharme and Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who ended up having to force Weiss to cooperate with the Pittsburgh office.
The former federal prosecutor said the “credible” allegations his team received involving the president’s son apparently worried officials in FBI headquarters as the probe spanned the length of the presidential election cycle, from January to October 2020.
“There was a larger group at the FBI, including FBI headquarters, that had eyes on what was happening and which required signoff for any investigative steps that FBI Pittsburgh was asked to take by us,” Brady said.
“[T]his is a very sensitive investigation, and it was an election year,” he added.
In one instance, at least “17 different people” at FBI headquarters had to approve an assignment in his office — a requirement that he said he had seen “never in my career.”
Brady also said he was “surprised” to have first learned about the contents of Hunter’s abandoned laptop through The Post’s bombshell October 2020 reports, which revealed the first son’s influence-peddling schemes abroad.
“I would have thought that would be something, especially as has been publicly reported, there’s information relating to Hunter Biden’s activities on the board of Burisma in Ukraine, that might have been helpful in our assessment of the information that we were receiving about him,” he said.
His probe’s most shocking finding came in a June 2020 confidential informant file — which has since been released by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) — that alleged Hunter and Joe Biden received a $10 million bribery payment from Burisma’s owner.
Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner, told the informant in a 2016 meeting that he had been “coerced” into paying off the Bidens to get Ukrainian Prosecutor Viktor Shokin fired while he was investigating the natural gas company.
In a letter on Wednesday, Grassley also said that more than 40 confidential sources had provided other “criminal information” about the Biden family, which had been covered up by DOJ and FBI officials.
According to Brady, the FD-1023 file contained “sufficient indicia of credibility” to pass along to the FBI’s Baltimore field office, Weiss’ office and two other US attorneys’ offices with “ongoing” investigations in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.
“Speaking generally, from a process perspective, I think there was both a skepticism of the information that we were developing, that we had received, and skepticism and then weariness of that information,” Brady also said.
“I think they were very concerned about any information sharing with our office,” he added, mentioning “it was regularly a challenge to interact with the investigative team from Delaware.”
“[A]t one point, the communication between our offices was so constricted that we had to provide written questions to the investigative team in Delaware, almost in the form of interrogatories, and receive written answers back,” Brady said.
That reluctance to dig further into the Biden allegations included Weiss, who ended up sitting out the Pittsburgh office’s final “substantive briefing” on the FBI file and other materials relevant to the Hunter probe in October 2020.
However, an assistant US attorney previously identified by IRS whistleblowers as having impeded their own investigation into Hunter Biden had a seat at the table, along with other senior prosecutors from both offices.
The assistant US attorney, Lesley Wolf, also sought to discredit the information from Brady’s office under the belief that it had all originated from former President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Brady said that he made clear to both Weiss and Wolf that the FBI FD-1023 form had not come from Giuliani, as well as other relevant information to their investigation.
Former Attorney General Bill Barr also told The Post earlier this year that the bribery investigation had been presented to the Delaware prosecutor’s office — despite claims to the contrary from House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) that the probe had been shut down.
House Republicans last month launched an impeachment inquiry into the president to determine whether he engaged in corruption or benefited from his son’s foreign business entanglements while serving as vice president.
Hunter Biden is currently scheduled to go on trial next year for gun charges after he lied on a federal firearm purchase form about his drug use.
Weiss unsealed that indictment against the first son in September, but has yet to bring other charges related to his more than five-year investigation.