Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) raised concerns with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI on Tuesday over the social media activity of a top FBI investigator and his apparent “political bias.”
Grassley laid out his concerns in letters to Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz. The letters included examples of posts from the FBI agent’s now inaccessible LinkedIn and Twitter profiles.
Timothy Thibault, an assistant special agent in charge (ASAC) at the FBI’s Washington Field Office, has posted and “liked” a number of posts across his social media platforms that are critical of Republicans, including former President Donald Trump.
Thibault “likely violated several federal regulations and Department guidelines designed to prevent political bias from infecting FBI matters, including the Attorney General Guidelines for Domestic FBI Operations and FBI social media policies,” Grassley said. “ASAC Thibault has demonstrated a pattern of active public partisanship, such as using his official title for public partisan posts relating to his superiors and matters under the FBI’s purview, that is likely a violation of his ethical obligations as an FBI employee.”
Grassley wrote that Thibault’s actions “present a grave risk” of politicizing the FBI’s work, especially any investigation that Thibault is a part of leading. Thibault’s social media posts “demonstrate a pattern of improper commentary related to, for example, ongoing FBI investigations including those under his purview,” Grassley said.
Grassley’s letter detailed Thibault’s biased social media activity. On LinkedIn, the special agent “liked” a post linking a Washington Post article claiming “the damage [Trump] has done to the Justice Department will endure — and may be irreparable.” The column, titled “The Justice Department confirms things are even worse than we feared,” criticized former Attorney General Bill Barr’s decision to intervene in federal prosecutors’ recommended sentence against GOP operative Roger Stone.
Thibault posted another WaPo opinion piece holding up the DOJ’s decision to drop the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn as one of the “Trump administration’s abuses of the justice system.” Thibault also “liked” a WaPo opinion piece titled: “William Barr has gone rogue.” The article repeatedly criticizes Barr’s handling of cases against Trump allies Flynn and GOP operative Roger Stone.
On Twitter, Thibault boosted anti-Trump content and made mocking and critical comments of other Republicans and the Catholic Church. Thibault retweeted a Lincoln Project tweet captioned, “Donald Trump is a psychologically broken, embittered, and deeply unhappy man.” The Lincoln Project is a group formed by anti-Trump GOP operatives to boost challengers to Trump and his agenda. The tweet included a link to an article in The Atlantic titled: “Donald Trump Is a Broken Man.”
Thibault also mocked Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) and former Vice President Dick Cheney. After Tuberville won election to be Alabama’s U.S. senator, Thibault responded to a tweet from Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson mocking Tuberville and the states of Alabama and Mississippi. Thibault said, “Thank God for Mississippi — state motto of Alabama,” according to Grassley. The phrase “thank God for Mississippi” is typically used in the south to “thank” Mississippi for its place at the bottom of a ranking of states, saving others across the south from being the worst.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) posted a photo of her father on Twitter captioned “Dick Cheney says WEAR A MASK.” Thibault responded to the post, commenting, “Your dad was a disgrace.”
On December 18, 2019, Thibault responded to a tweet from a Catholic priest, Frank Pavone, which said “#abortion destroys everything it touches.” Pavone also claimed Democrats’ attacks against Trump are “in no small part their reaction to his heroic push against the abortion industry.” Thibault responded to Pavone’s tweet saying “focus on the pedophiles.”
In April, Thibault tweeted “Can we give Kentucky to the Russian Federation?” according to The Washington Examiner. The leading Republican in the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, represents Kentucky. The state’s other senator is Republican Sen. Rand Paul.
The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to The Daily Wire’s request for comment.