Comer Will Move To Hold FBI Director in Contempt Despite Viewing Biden ‘Bribery Document’

The congressman says the whistleblower alleging the bribery scheme is a highly credible source used previously by the Obama administration.

AP/Charlie Neibergall, file
The FBI director, Christopher Wray, at Omaha, Nebraska. AP/Charlie Neibergall, file

The House Oversight Committee chairman, Congressman James Comer, says he will move forward with holding the FBI director, Christopher Wray, in contempt of Congress even after the FBI brought to Capitol Hill a long-requested document alleging a bribery scheme by President Biden and allowed Mr. Comer to view it under strict security protocols.

The document reportedly alleges Mr. Biden received a $5 million bribe from a foreign interest while he was vice president, money paid in exchange for favorable actions in policy.  

Mr. Comer had subpoenaed the document on May 3 as a part of his committee’s broader investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings. For nearly a month, the FBI director refused to give Congress the document at every turn. Facing a hard deadline to produce the document or face contempt charges, Mr. Wray eventually offered to show Mr. Comer the document at FBI headquarters, which the chairman said was unsatisfactory. 

The FBI then relented and brought the document to Capitol Hill, where Mr. Comer and his Democratic committee counterpart, Congressman Jamie Raskin, viewed it under FBI supervision. Mr. Comer then said that simply allowing committee leaders to view the document was not in compliance with the subpoena, as it required the FBI to “produce the document” to the committee. The chairman has now promised to begin contempt proceedings later this week. 

“At the briefing, the FBI again refused to hand over the unclassified record to the custody of the House Oversight Committee,” Mr. Comer said at a press conference after reviewing the document. “And we will now initiate contempt of Congress hearings this Thursday.”

Mr. Comer also said that the person who alleged Mr. Biden received the $5 million bribe is a highly credible individual who provided reliable information to government investigators during the Obama administration.

If Mr. Wray is held in contempt, it is unlikely anything would come of it as the Department of Justice — of which Mr. Wray is an employee — is given discretion in deciding whether to pursue charges, and the agency has a history of not prosecuting its own. Attorney General Holder was held in contempt of Congress during the Obama administration and nothing happened thereafter. 

Mr. Comer argues there is precedent for contempt motions in defying lawful subpoenas. President Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has been convicted of defying a congressional subpoena during the January 6 Select Committee investigation, for which he was held in contempt. He was sentenced to a short prison term and is appealing the conviction. 

Mr. Comer argues that Mr. Wray has committed the same offense of which Mr. Bannon was convicted. “It’s going to look very similar to what the Democrats did with Steve Bannon,” Mr. Comer said Tuesday of holding Mr. Wray in contempt. “I mean, that was the perfect example of a congressional committee holding someone in contempt of Congress.”

While congressional Republicans have long focused on Hunter Biden as being at the nexus of possible payment schemes to the family, the whistleblower report could be the first instance of a whistleblower directly tying the sitting president to foreign entities.

The New York Sun

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