The Republican-led House Oversight and Accountability Committee is gearing up to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt over the Bureau’s refusal to comply with a Congressional subpoena. House Oversight Chairman James Comer issued the subpoena earlier this month after a whistleblower made legally protected disclosures to Senator Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) office. According to the whistleblower, an FBI-generated FD-1023 form details a criminal scheme between then-Vice President Joe Biden and a foreign national involving an exchange of money for policy decisions.
“Today, the FBI informed the Committee that it will not provide the unclassified documents subpoenaed by the Committee,” said House Oversight Chairman James Comer in a statement Tuesday. “The FBI’s decision to stiff-arm Congress and hide this information from the American people is obstructionist and unacceptable.”
Grassley, a long-time whistleblower advocate said in a statement on May 3: “We believe the FBI possesses an unclassified internal document that includes very serious and detailed allegations implicating the current President of the United States.”
“What we don’t know is what, if anything, the FBI has done to verify these claims or investigate further,” the senator added. “The FBI’s recent history of botching politically charged investigations demands close congressional oversight.”
Comer and Grassley have scheduled a phone call with Wray on Wednesday to discuss the issue.
“While I have a call scheduled with FBI Director Wray tomorrow to discuss his response further, the Committee has been clear in its intent to protect Congressional oversight authorities and will now be taking steps to hold the FBI Director in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a lawful subpoena,” Comer said in his statement. “Americans deserve the truth, and the Oversight Committee will continue to demand transparency from this nation’s chief law enforcement agency.”
Today, the FBI informed @GOPoversight that it will not provide the unclassified documents subpoenaed by the Committee.
The Committee will now be taking steps to hold FBI Director Wray in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a lawful subpoena.
— Rep. James Comer (@RepJamesComer) May 30, 2023
Should the House vote to hold Wray in contempt, the congressional contempt citation would be referred to the Biden Justice Department for potential prosecution.
In 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder was held in criminal contempt by the Republican Congress for defying the House Oversight Committee’s lawful subpoenas requesting Operation Fast and Furious documents. The Obama Justice Department declined to prosecute, stating that “across administrations of both political parties, the longstanding position of the Department of Justice has been and remains that we will not prosecute” in such a circumstance.”
In a tweet Wednesday afternoon, Oversight Committee Republicans said Wray confirmed the existence of the form, and is allowing lawmakers to review it at FBI headquarters, but still refuses to send the unclassified record to the committee. Rep. Comer vowed to proceed with Contempt proceedings if the document is not handed over.
🚨 BREAKING 🚨
FBI Director Wray has confirmed the existence of the FD-1023 form alleging then-Vice President Biden engaged in a criminal bribery scheme with a foreign national.
He’s allowing this unclassified record to be reviewed at the FBI but hasn’t produced it to…
— Oversight Committee (@GOPoversight) May 31, 2023
🚨On my call with FBI Director Wray, the FBI finally confirmed the existence of the FD-1023 form alleging then-VP Joe Biden engaged in a criminal bribery scheme.
Anything short of producing these documents to @GOPoversight is not in compliance with my subpoena.
— Rep. James Comer (@RepJamesComer) May 31, 2023