The U.S. House of Representatives has targeted its investigatory power on the Biden administration and intelligence community since Republicans gained control of the chamber earlier this year.
In light of allegations that the FBI worked to cover up evidence that President Joe Biden had been involved in a bribery scheme when he served as vice president during the Obama administration, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) demanded the pertinent evidence.
When FBI Director Christopher Wray failed to supply the documents by a May 30 deadline, Comer threatened to hold him in contempt of Congress.
For his part, Wray has asserted that handing over the document — identified as an FD-1023 form — could hinder the bureau’s investigation and compromise sources.
The director did offer a compromise, however, and showed a copy of the form to Comer without removing it from FBI headquarters.
During a news conference on Monday, Comer asserted that Wray’s arrangement was not sufficient.
“At the briefing, the FBI again refused to hand over the unclassified record to the custody of the House Oversight Committee,” he said, indicating that lawmakers “will not initiate contempt of Congress hearings this Thursday.”
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
A reporter pressed Comer on his decision, asking why he needed possession of the physical form.
“You got a chance to review it,” the individual continued. “Why move forward with contempt when the FBI says they’re cooperating in good faith?”
The Kentucky Republican responded by expressing his skepticism about the supposed transparency of the nation’s intelligence community regarding any investigation involving the president.
“Well, let’s just look at what I’ve read in a lot of the media accounts, and with statements that [Biden administration adviser] Ian Sams has made from the White House that, you know, there’s no merit to this, this is crazy, this is a conspiracy theory, and you’re just supposed to take my word, or the FBI’s word? I’m supposed to take the FBI’s word that they’re investigating this?”
As for the source of the allegations against Biden, Comer described 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.”