Republicans Won’t Charge FBI With Contempt Of Congress

House Republicans were expected to vote on charging FBI Director Christopher Wray with contempt of Congress after the agency refused to comply with a congressional subpoena for over a month. Now, it appears that Republicans will be backing off that threat.

Recently, the FBI decided to provide the House Oversight Committee with full access to a document detailing alleged criminal activity involving President Joe Biden. House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-KY) removed the vote to charge Wray with contempt.

The House Oversight Committee recently released a resolution and report, recommending the House to hold Wray in contempt of Congress and set the vote for June 8, 2023, at 9:00 a.m.

“We have been clear that the FBI must produce the unclassified FD-1023 record to the custody of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability. To date, the FBI has refused to comply with our lawfully issued subpoena and even refused to admit the record’s existence up until a week ago,” Comer said in a statement.

In May 2023, House Republicans subpoenaed the FBI for a document reportedly containing evidence of an alleged criminal scheme involving Biden and business dealings in Ukraine, according to House Oversight Committee ranking member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD).

Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) noted in a letter from May 3, 2023, addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Wray that the form, FD-1023, contains “valuable, verifiable information” describing “an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions.”

The FBI missed several deadlines, including the ones on May 10, 2023, and May 30, 2023. The agency recently showed Comer and Raskin the document in a secure location. Such an act did not satisfy House Republicans, who stressed that the FBI has still not fulfilled the demands of the May 2023 subpoena.

Hours after Comer released his resolution, stressing the need to hold the federal government accountable, the FBI offered to provide every lawmaker on the House Oversight Committee access to a modified version of the FD-1023 record.

According to The New York Times, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reportedly indicated that the FBI’s decision to provide lawmakers with the document would suffice.

“He needs to show it to every Republican and every Democrat on the committee,” said McCarthy. “If he is willing to do that, then there’s not a need to have contempt.”

Although McCarthy was satisfied, it is unclear whether Comer accepted the FBI’s last-minute offer, considering he had stressed that only an unedited version of the record would qualify as compliance with the congressional subpoena.
Comer eventually stated, “After weeks of refusing to even admit the FD-1023 record exists, the FBI has caved and is now allowing all members of the Oversight and Accountability

Committee to review this unclassified record that memorializes a confidential human source’s conversations with a foreign national who claimed to have bribed then-Vice President Joe Biden.”

“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,” Comer added.

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