Politics

FBI contempt of Congress deadline looms as Comer demands key Biden document

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer is prepared to start the process of holding the FBI in contempt of Congress as early as today if the bureau does not comply with a subpoena related to a possible criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Joe Biden.

Comer, R-Ky., has subpoenaed the FBI for a document that allegedly describes a criminal scheme involving Biden and a foreign national and relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions. The document is an FBI-generated FD-1023 form.

Comer first subpoenaed the document earlier this month. The FBI did not turn it over and instead explained that it needed to protect the bureau’s confidential human source program.

After Comer threatened to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress if the document was not provided by May 30, Wray scheduled a phone call with Comer for May 31. It is unclear whether the FBI will comply by the end of the day and turn over the FD-1023 form.

COMER THREATENS TO HOLD FBI IN CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS IF IT FAILS TO RELEASE KEY BIDEN DOCUMENT

Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., is threatening to hold the FBI in contempt if it does not meet a Tuesday deadline to hand over information about the Bidens’ business practices. (Anna Rose Layden/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“It shouldn’t have taken the threat of holding FBI Director Wray in contempt for him to finally agree to a phone call that Chairman Comer and Senator Grassley requested over a week ago,” Comer said. “The FBI must produce the unclassified record by May 30 or the Oversight Committee will initiate contempt of Congress proceedings. The subpoenaed record is already two weeks past due.”

The document is being sought after a whistleblower approached Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, alleging that the FBI and the Justice Department were in possession of it, and that it would reveal “a precise description of how the alleged criminal scheme was employed as well as its purpose.”

Comer attempted to “narrow the breadth of the subpoena” in response to FBI staff criticisms, the committee determined “additional terms based on unclassified legally protected whistleblower disclosures that may be referenced in the FD-1023 form.” The terms included “June 30, 2020” and “five million.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray was "appalled" by Tyre Nichols video

FBI Director Christopher Wray listens during a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

“These terms relate to the date of the FD-1023 form and its reference to the amount of money the foreign national allegedly paid to receive the desired policy outcome,” Comer explained. “Given the large number of FD-1023 forms with the word ‘Biden’ in June 2020, these terms should assist the FBI in identifying the specific FD-1023 form at issue.”

“The FBI has continued to tie itself in knots to ignore a legitimate subpoena from Congress, which has a constitutional duty of oversight,” Grassley told Fox News Digital. “The Bureau’s developed a serious reputation problem through its spate of failures and overreach, and leadership is doing it no favors by attempting to stiff-arm Congress.”

Grassley said the FBI “knows exactly what document Chairman Comer and I are seeking, and if they know us at all, they know we will get it, one way or another.”

FBI DOESN’T SHARE DOCUMENT GOP SUBPOENAED ALLEGING ‘CRIMINAL SCHEME’ INVOLVING BIDEN

President Joe Biden

An FBI-generated FD-1023 form allegedly describes a criminal scheme involving President Biden and a foreign national and relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions. (Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“If FBI leadership truly cares about protecting the agency’s reputation, they’d cooperate,” Grassley said. “These needless delays only harm the Bureau.”

House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jamie Raskin, D-Md., called the threat of contempt as a “ludicrously overblown response.”

WHISTLEBLOWER ALLEGES FBI, DOJ HAVE DOCUMENT REVEALING CRIMINAL SCHEME INVOLVING BIDEN, FOREIGN NATIONAL

The back-and-forth came after Comer and Grassley notified Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland this month about the “legally protected and highly credible unclassified whistleblower disclosures.”

Comer and Grassley said that based on “the alleged specificity within the document, it would appear that the DOJ and the FBI have enough information to determine the truth and accuracy of the information contained within it.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray

FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks during a news conference on Aug. 10, 2022, in Omaha, Nebraska. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

“The FBI’s mission is to protect the American people. Releasing confidential source information could potentially jeopardize investigations and put lives at risk,” the FBI said in a statement. “The FBI remains committed to cooperating with Congress’s oversight requests on this matter and others as we always have.”

The White House has maintained that the president never spoke to his son about his business dealings and has continued to say that the president was never involved in them. Officials also say the president has never discussed investigations into members of his family with the Justice Department.

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