FBI analyst who helped shutter Hunter Biden probe referred for disciplinary action over Trump dossier

It turns out that the FBI analyst who falsely labeled accurate intelligence on Hunter Biden’s activities “disinformation” had a less-than-spotless record at the bureau, according to new claims from whistleblowers at the Bureau.

Brian Auten is the individual in question, and operates as a supervisory intelligence analyst at the FBI; according to reporting by the Washington Examiner. After the release of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report in December 2019, Auten was referred to the Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility — which is tasked with investigating professional misconduct or crimes by department personnel. Horowitz’s report concerned the so-called “Trump-Russia investigation,” and the use under false pretenses of FISA surveillance against Carter Page, a Trump campaign associate.

Nevertheless, not long after the referral, Auten was back at it — this time involved in the FBI’s “investigation” of Hunter Biden, and it was his analysis in August of 2020 that was partially used to justify the shuttering of the probe into potential misdeeds by the future president’s son.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) recently revealed that he received communications from protected and “highly credible” whistleblowers that Auten and other agents “opened an assessment which was used by an FBI headquarters team to improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation and caused investigative activity to cease.”

That fact is perhaps more understandable now that it has been established that Auten was earlier disciplined for his involvement in the scandalous Trump-Russia collusion hoax. The 2019 report by Inspector General Horowitz determined that the DOJ and FBI had improperly relied on the discredited dossier assembled by the shady former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Horowitz’s report castigated the DOJ and FBI for committing seventeen “significant errors and omissions” in obtaining FISA warrants against Carter Page, as well as for relying too much on Steele’s dubious dossier.

And Auten, as it happens, was deeply involved in the Bureau’s investigation of the infamous Steele dossier. As an analyst, he was tasked with reviewing the dossier and was among those who interviewed the dossier’s main source, Igor Danchenko, in January 2017—which was when Danchenko undermined the collusion claims presented in the dossier. Nevertheless, as Horowitz indicated in his report, Auten failed to mention that fact when the FBI began circulating an intelligence memorandum on the dossier in February of that year.

“The failures highlighted in that report are unacceptable—period,” FBI Director Christopher Wray explained to the House in February 2020, adding “where there are people who are still left, most of whom are effectively at the line level or at least were at the time of the inspector general report, they’ve been referred to our Office of Professional Responsibility, which is our disciplinary arm.”

Wray stated that the Office of Professional Responsibility was a highly reputable institution, and “one of the premier independent disciplinary arms in any executive agency. He also said that “if that process results in recommendations of discipline, then we’re going to impose discipline”—but “discipline” in bureaucratese must mean something very different than it does in ordinary civilian lingo, because we now know that Auten apparently suffered no check to his train-wreck of a career, and went on a few months later to meddle with another investigation.

With such a stellar record, perhaps the DOJ can find a new use for their star “supervisory intelligence agent.”

Don’t count on it.


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Todd Jaquith


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