House Republicans Skip Contempt Vote for FBI Director After He ‘Caved’ on Biden Document

Previously, the FBI would not even concede that the whistleblower form was real.

AP/Alex Brandon
Representative James Comer during a hearing of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, April 19, 2023. AP/Alex Brandon

Capping off a weeks-long drama between congressional Republicans and the FBI, the House Oversight Committee has announced it will no longer consider a resolution to hold the FBI director, Christopher Wray, in contempt. This comes after Mr. Wray relented and allowed committee members to view a document that alleges President Biden received a $5 million bribe when he was vice president. 

“Americans have lost trust in the FBI’s ability to enforce the law impartially and demand answers, transparency, and accountability,” the chairman of the oversight committee, Congressman James Comer, said. “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.”

Mr. Comer said the FBI “caved under the threat of holding Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress and will now allow all members of the committee to review the record and receive a briefing.” 

Mr. Comer had originally scheduled a committee vote on holding Mr. Wray in contempt for Thursday morning. That schedule was set after Mr. Comer and the ranking Democrat on the committee, Congressman Jamie Raskin, reviewed the whistleblower form under FBI supervision on Capitol Hill, which Mr. Comer felt did not satisfy the subpoena he had sent to the agency, which required the FBI to “produce” the document for the committee. 

During a press conference at the Capitol after viewing the document, Mr. Comer was visibly frustrated. “At the briefing, the FBI again refused to hand over the unclassified record to the custody of the House Oversight Committee,” Mr. Comer told reporters. “And we will now initiate contempt of Congress hearings this Thursday.”

In a sign of how committed the GOP was in holding Mr. Wray accountable, Mr. Comer released the text of the contempt resolution on Wednesday. Mr. Wray would have been held “in contempt of Congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena duly issued by the Committee on Oversight and Accountability,” the motion stated.

Previously, the FBI would not even concede that the whistleblower form was real. “Once Director Wray confirmed the record’s existence, the FBI started their coverup by leaking a false narrative to the media,” Mr. Comer said in a statement accompanying the release of the contempt resolution on Wednesday. 

Mr. Raskin has led the charge in delegitimizing the document, claiming that the Department of Justice investigated the claims and closed the case when they first heard from the whistleblower in 2020, something Mr. Comer has disputed.

“The case is not closed as the White House, Democrats, and the FBI would have the American people believe,” Mr. Comer said. “The FBI created this record based on information from a credible informant who has worked with the FBI for over a decade and paid six figures.”

President Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, agreed with Mr. Comer’s assessment, telling the Federalist that the investigation into the alleged bribe was not closed on his watch. “It’s not true. It wasn’t closed down,” Mr. Barr said on Tuesday. “On the contrary, it was sent to Delaware for further investigation.”

Mr. Comer said of the whistleblower form that the “allegations contained within this record track closely with the Oversight Committee’s investigation of the Biden family’s influence peddling schemes.”

The committee has launched a wide-ranging investigation into the Biden family, focusing mostly on the troubled first son, Hunter Biden.

The New York Sun

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