FBI Director Christopher Wray finally caved to the House Oversight Committee’s demand that he produce the document that allegedly shows President Biden being involved in a $5 million foreign national bribery scheme when he was vice president.
In doing so, he sidesteps the threat of a contempt charge that the House Oversight Committee was prepping to vote on. The charge would have reportedly gone through putting Wray in a very uncomfortable position and possibly behind bars. Republicans stood their ground and he gave in to avoid that particular political spectacle.
The standoff between House Republicans and Wray began on May 3 when the FBI director was issued a subpoena to hand over the document. Wray refused to share the document with anyone other than the chair of the committee, James Comer (R-Ky.), and the ranking Democrat, Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) Comer then proceeded to make good on his contempt threat after reviewing the redacted document during a 90-minute briefing on Monday, calling it troubling. Raskin was notably silent on the issue.
The FBI will also make two additional documents available to Comer and Raskin according to Comer’s statement announcing the agreement.
@RepJamesComer forces the FBI to cooperate!
The FBI will allow all members of our committee to review the Biden bribery record and receive a briefing.
We will continue to follow the facts and ensure accountability for the American people.
— Oversight Committee (@GOPoversight) June 8, 2023
The FBI described the briefing as an “extraordinary accommodation” where both leaders were able to take notes on the document and ask questions, according to the Daily Mail.
Comer insisted that all members of the committee be allowed to view the document, unredacted. Wray refused and on Monday, Comer threatened to hold him in contempt over it.
On Wednesday, Comer canceled the contempt vote when Wray relented and agreed to allow the full committee access to the redacted FD-1023 record.
A longtime credible FBI source brought the document to light. The source asserted that an unverified tip was received in 2020 concerning the business dealings of President Biden and his son Hunter Biden in Ukraine involving bribery. Hunter Biden previously sat on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company. The alleged $5 million bribe to Joe Biden would have ostensibly been in exchange for political favors.
“After weeks of refusing to even admit the FD-1023 record exists, the FBI has caved and is now allowing all members of the Oversight and Accountability Committee to review this unclassified record that memorializes a confidential human source’s conversations with a foreign national who claimed to have bribed then-Vice President Joe Biden,” Comer said in a statement.
After weeks of refusing to even admit the FD-1023 record exists, the FBI has agreed to cooperate and is now allowing all members of the Oversight Committee to review this unclassified record alleging a bribery scheme by then VP Biden.
— Rep. James Comer (@RepJamesComer) June 8, 2023
“Americans have lost trust in the FBI’s ability to enforce the law impartially and demand answers, transparency, and accountability. Allowing all Oversight Committee members to review this record is an important step toward conducting oversight of the FBI and holding it accountable to the American people,” he asserted.
In turn, Raskin declared that he was pleased that Wray and Comer came to an agreement over the document, which he said was made in “good faith.” However, he’s expressing leftist concern over the events leading up to the agreement.
“Holding someone in contempt of Congress is among the most serious actions our Committee can take and it should not be weaponized to undermine the FBI,” Raskin charged.
BREAKING: RM @RepRaskin issued the following statement after Chairman Comer accepted the FBI’s accommodation to allow all Oversight Committee Members to review the subpoenaed Form FD-1023 in camera: https://t.co/DntceDdXRe
— Oversight Committee Democrats (@OversightDems) June 8, 2023
The FBI had previously called the contempt vote unwarranted because the agency had “continuously demonstrated its commitment to accommodate the committee’s request,” while protecting the alleged safety of sources and the integrity of ongoing investigations.
Comer didn’t buy that excuse and demanded the document be turned over or else.
If contempt proceedings had moved forward, it would have been the first time Republicans had used that power against a federal official since taking control of the House in January. However, it is not a rare occurrence in the House.
Democrats repeatedly used weaponized contempt charges in the last Congress as part of the committee investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
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