James Comer has redoubled his efforts to obtain an FBI document linking Joe Biden to a pay-to-play bribery operation while he served as vice president under President Obama.
In a statement released on May 19, James Comer, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, named the FBI’s failure to produce even a single unredacted document intolerable. A whistleblower’s allegations of former Vice President Biden’s involvement in a bribery scheme with a foreign national have caused worry, and the FBI must immediately hand over files to the legislative branch.
In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray dated May 19, Comer restated the demand. After the FBI missed Comer’s subpoena deadline of May 10 to deliver the internal notes detailing a suspected criminal scheme involving Biden, several House Republicans have hinted they might prosecute Wray in contempt of Congress.
In a letter dated May 3, Comer and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) disclosed that they had received credible unclassified whistleblower disclosures protected by law. In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland, the whistleblower claimed that the DOJ and the FBI had an unclassified document detailing an alleged criminal scheme involving then-vice president Joe Biden and a foreign national involving the exchange of money for policy decisions.
A member of the House Oversight Committee, Republican Representative Eric Burlison of Missouri, previously told the media that this document provides extensive information regarding the pay-for-play pact between Joe Biden and this foreign national in exchange for certain policy outcomes.
Comer subpoenaed Wray on May 3 for an FD-1023, an internal document used to record information obtained from sources deemed too sensitive to be made public. All FD-1023 records were requested by subpoena, including those in open, closed, or restricted access case files created or changed in June 2020 containing the word Biden.
On May 10, the FBI’s acting assistant director for congressional affairs, Christopher Dunham, addressed a letter to Comer outlining the agency’s concerns about disclosing the requested material.
According to Dunham, the FD-1023 form is used by FBI agents to document information obtained from confidential human sources. Dunham pointed out that the Department of Justice’s policy places stringent constraints on disseminating human sources’ sensitive information beyond the FBI.
A spokesperson for the FBI later told the media that disclosing such information could compromise investigations, prejudice prosecutions or judicial proceedings, violate privacy or reputations unfairly, mislead the public, and put the physical safety of informants at risk.
After hearing the FBI’s concerns about secrecy, Comer wrote to Wray on May 19 to inform him that his committee had already offered a reasonable accommodation. The FBI continues to ignore the Committee’s requests for a meeting to discuss how it can get the data it needs.
On May 15, members of Oversight met with FBI officials in person. However, the bureau still hasn’t provided the report they were expecting.
Comer finds it concerning; FBI employees said they couldn’t tell whether or not the FD-1023 form exists. Comer elaborated that the FBI had requested a second meeting with different FBI workers to update them on sensitive human source reporting rather than produce the subpoenaed document.
Legal representation for the committee consented to a second meeting but questioned the FBI’s good faith, given the bureau’s failure to recognize the FD-1023 form at issue.
The second meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 22.
The Oversight Committee has been looking into Biden’s family’s international business dealings for months. Comer’s latest push continues the investigation. The Biden family, their business connections, and their enterprises got nearly $10 million from companies owned by foreign nationals, according to bank data released by investigators on May 10.
On May 11, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced he would discuss Biden’s alleged bribery scheme with Wray.
The Republicans in the House might hold Wray in contempt of Congress if he disobeys the subpoena issued by the panel.
Both California Republican Tom McClintock and Georgia Republican Rich McCormick have stated that they will vote to support the contempt proceedings.