Republican concerns about the FBI spiked in recent days amid allegations that the bureau is in possession of a document that signals President Joe Biden’s involvement in an international multimillion-dollar bribery scheme.
The GOP-led House Oversight Committee called on FBI Director Christopher Wray to turn over the FD-1023 form, but he refused. Ultimately, Wray offered to show the form to members of the panel without removing it from the FBI.
While Rep. James Comer (R-KY) — the committee’s chairman — agreed to the briefing, he has subsequently declared that it was insufficient and continued to demand that the document be delivered to Congress.
“Given the severity and complexity of the allegations contained within this record, Congress must investigate further,” he said.
After a May 30 deadline came and went without resulting in the delivery of the form, Comer asserted that he would move forward with a motion to hold Wray in contempt of Congress.
The FBI confirmed the unclassified record alleging then-VP Biden engaged in a $5 million bribery scheme is from a highly credible informant & being used in an ongoing investigation.
The FBI refused to hand over the doc.
I will hold Director Wray in contempt of Congress pic.twitter.com/2p1fNdmBJ1
— Rep. James Comer (@RepJamesComer) June 5, 2023
“At the briefing, the FBI again refused to hand over the unclassified record to the custody of the House Oversight Committee,” he said, adding that contempt hearings will begin later this week.
Comer went on to vouch for the credibility of the source responsible for the initial allegations, describing the individual as a “highly credible informant who has been used by the FBI for over 10 years and has been paid over six figures.”
He explained to reporters why he believes it is imperative for Congress to get to the bottom of the matter.
“Americans have lost trust in the FBI’s ability to enforce the law impartially,” Comer added.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the committee’s ranking Democrat, was also present during the FBI briefing and, perhaps unsurprisingly, offered a different assessment of the situation.
Crediting the FBI with making “extraordinary accommodations” to comply with Comer’s demands, the Maryland Democrat dismissed Republican concerns as an “aimless fishing expedition” intended only to “boost [former President Donald] Trump’s poll numbers” ahead of the 2024 presidential election.
According to committee member Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), Wray has defended his decision not to release the document because the “FBI is afraid their informant will be killed if unmasked, based on the info he has brought forward about the Biden family.”