House Oversight Chair Moves to Hold FBI Director Wray in Contempt

May 31, 2023

House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY) moved Tuesday to hold FBI Director Chris Wray in contempt of Congress over refusal to comply with a committee subpoena.

“The FBI’s decision to stiff-arm Congress and hide this information from the American people is obstructionist and unacceptable,” Comer said in a statement.

“The FBI isn’t above Congress,” he tweeted Tuesday night.

His committee has asked the FBI for an unclassified June 2020 document that Comer purports describes “an alleged criminal scheme” involving President Biden and a foreign national “relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions” during Biden’s term as Vice President and includes “a precise description” about the alleged incident. 

Comer, along with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), have said those “disclosures” demand further investigation. 

In response, the FBI has said in a statement that it remains committed to cooperating with Congress “in good faith,” adding that it offered to give the Oversight Committee “access to information responsive to the Committee’s subpoena in a format and setting that maintains confidentiality and protects important security interests and the integrity of FBI investigations.”

Further, the FBI said of the subpoena threat that “any discussion of escalation under these circumstances is unnecessary.”

Meanwhile, Democrats on the Oversight Committee have called Comer’s charges of FBI obstructing “a radical distortion of the situation.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the top Democrat on the committee, said in a statement late Tuesday, “This subpoenaed document, by definition, reveals nothing more than an unverified and unsubstantiated tip made to Donald Trump’s Justice Department, which presumably led to no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.”

He further noted that Comer and Grassley used the word “alleged” three times in the opening paragraph of a May 3 letter they’d sent to Wray.

Comer and Wray were scheduled to speak by phone on Wednesday amid the standoff.

PHOTO: @RepJamesComer

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