GOP Chair: Hold FBI's Wray in Contempt 05/31 06:03
The chairman of the House Oversight Committee said Tuesday he is moving
forward with holding FBI Director Chris Wray in contempt of Congress because
the department has not turned over a bureau record that purports to relate to
President Joe Biden and his family.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The chairman of the House Oversight Committee said
Tuesday he is moving forward with holding FBI Director Chris Wray in contempt
of Congress because the department has not turned over a bureau record that
purports to relate to President Joe Biden and his family.
Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., criticized the federal law enforcement agency after
he said his committee was told it would not gain access to an unclassified form
that describes "an alleged criminal scheme" involving the president and a
"The FBI's decision to stiff-arm Congress and hide this information from the
American people is obstructionist and unacceptable," Comer said in a statement.
In response, the FBI said in a statement that it remains committed to
cooperating with lawmakers in "good faith," and that "any discussion of
escalation under these circumstances is unnecessary."
The FBI said it offered to give the Oversight committee "access to
information responsive to the Committee's subpoena in a format and setting that
maintains confidentiality and protects important security interests and the
integrity of FBI investigations."
The bureau called that offer "an extraordinary accommodation."
Comer and Wray are scheduled to speak by phone on Wednesday amid the
Calls to move forward with contempt were elevated by House Speaker Kevin
McCarthy earlier Tuesday, who told Fox News that he had personally called Wray
to urge the release of the document to Congress.
"If he does not act, he's not above the law. He's not above Congress. And we
will hold him in contempt. Now I want to be very clear about that," McCarthy
Comer subpoenaed Wray earlier this month seeking a specific FBI form from
June 2020 that is a report of conversations or interactions with a confidential
source. These reports are routine, contain uncorroborated and unvetted
information and do not on their own establish any wrongdoing.
In a May 3 letter to Wray with Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Comer
said that "it has come to our attention" that the bureau has such a document
that "describes an alleged criminal scheme" involving Biden and a foreign
national "relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions" when Biden
was vice president and includes "a precise description" about it.
Comer and Grassley said those "disclosures" demand further investigation,
and they want to know whether the FBI investigated and, if so, what agents
The subpoena seeks all so-called FD-1023 forms and accompanying attachments
Democrats on the Oversight committee called Comer's narrative of the FBI
obstructing "a radical distortion of the situation." And they accused the
chairman of stonewalling them from the call with Wray on Wednesday.
"This subpoenaed document, by definition, reveals nothing more than an
unverified and unsubstantiated tip made to Donald Trump's Justice Department,
which presumably led to no evidence of criminal wrongdoing," Rep. Jamie Raskin,
D-Md., the top Democrat on the committee, said in a statement late Tuesday.
The lawmakers used the word "alleged" three times in the opening paragraph
of the letter and offered no evidence of the veracity of the accusations or any
details about what they contend are "highly credible unclassified whistleblower
The White House has called the subpoena effort further evidence of how
congressional Republicans long "have been lobbing unfounded, unproven,
politically motivated attacks" against the Biden family "without offering
evidence for their claims or evidence of decisions influenced by anything other
than U.S. interests."
A contempt of Congress charge would require a full committee vote before
going to the House floor.
If the House were to approve a contempt resolution against Wray, the
decision about whether to prosecute him would fall to prosecutors in the
Justice Department, where Wray works.