Why did the FBI pay a million dollars to verify an accusation made against a Republican, then shell out three million to squash a story detrimental to a Democrat, Rep. Barry Moore (R-AL) asked FBI Director Christopher Steele Wednesday.
Rep. Moore pressed Wray on the subject during a House Judiciary hearing regarding the weaponization of the federal government:
“Why would the FBI offer Christopher Steele a million dollars to verify a dossier about Trump-Russia collusion, and then the same FBI offer $3 million to Twitter to squash the story on the Hunter Biden laptop?”
“Do you have any idea why a law enforcement agency would be playing into elections?” Rep. Moore asked the FBI director, who dodged the question by saying the dossier predated his confirmation.
“It’s the same agency paying a million to push one story out, or try to collaborate one story, and three million to squash another story, for political opponents,” Rep. Moore replied.
Wray rationalized the millions spend on the Trump-Russia and Biden laptop initiatives by saying that the FBI has a long history of paying companies for the costs incurred while doing the government’s bidding:
“When there are payments to social media companies, that is by long-standing federal law going back about four decades, where we have to pay companies for their costs in responding to legal process.”
“And it's not just social media companies. It's other kinds of businesses as well,” Wray added, possibly suggesting even broader use of FBI funds on similar projects.
at today's @judiciarygop hearing, i asked director wray why the fbi would pay twitter $3 million to squash the hunter biden laptop story.— rep. Barry moore (@repbarrymoore) july 12, 2023
he said paying social media companies is "longstanding precedent".
twitter has only existed for 17 years. pic.twitter.com/ys9ulrtqax
As it has turned out, the accusations in Steele dossier used to attack former Republican President Donald Trump have been thoroughly debunked, while the suppressed news report of the existence of the infamous laptop belonging to President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, has proven to be true.
Rep. Moore noted that the FBI’s handling of the stories appears to have been “extremely political,” reflecting poorly on the bureau's reputation:
“But when these stories get out and you understand, certainly the dossier story, and I know that wasn't on your watch, but also the Hunter Biden laptop story, that to me looks political, to the American people it looks political.
“And I'm just an everyday guy, I'm not an attorney, Mr. Wray. But, to me, it looks extremely political and that is why you're having trouble keeping the FBI's reputation afloat.”