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House Republicans are threatening to file contempt charges against FBI Director Christopher Wray after the agency failed during a closed-door meeting to hand over a document lawmakers subpoenaed.
House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer detailed how lawmakers are seeking a document from the FBI that allegedly details a “criminal scheme” involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and an unnamed “foreign national.”
Comer threatened to hit Wray with contempt charges.
“They don’t respect anyone in Congress,” Comer said on Fox News. “They’ve been able to get away with this for a long time. The media continues to turn a blind eye. The Senate Republicans continue to fund the FBI. Why would you change your business model when you’re getting everything you want?”
Comer requested the document from Wray on Friday, accusing the agency of interfering with his subpoena launched on May 3 with Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley. The bureau has yet to hand over the document.
“At today’s staff briefing with FBI officials, the FBI again did not produce the unclassified record subpoenaed by Chairman Comer. The Oversight Committee will announce the next steps soon,” said Jessica Collins, a spokeswoman for the committee.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on Sunday that he is anticipating that the FBI will turn over a file that is believed to contain evidence of bribery involving President Joe Biden after a weeks-long impasse.
In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” the California Republican said the potential breakthrough came after he personally spoke with FBI Director Christopher Wray last week, the Daily Wire reports. The conversation pertained to the bureau’s failure to comply with a lawful congressional subpoena for the file.
“I explained to the director that we will do everything in our power, and we have jurisdiction over the FBI, that we have the right to see this document,” McCarthy said during the interview. “I believe after this call, we will get this document.”
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) issued a subpoena with a deadline of May 10 for the file. According to GOP investigators, whistleblower disclosures suggest the existence of a form completed by the FBI, outlining an alleged influence-peddling scheme involving Biden during his tenure as vice president and a foreign national.
On the day of the deadline, the FBI responded to the request, with an official declining to acknowledge the existence of the mentioned record. The response further cautioned against the release of “unverified or incomplete” information that could “harm investigations, prejudice prosecutions or judicial proceedings, unfairly violate privacy or reputational interests, or create misimpressions in the public.”
Even though Christopher Dunham, the acting Assistant Director for Congressional Affairs, expressed in his response a commitment to collaborate with lawmakers to address the issue, Comer appeared dissatisfied.
“It’s clear from the FBI’s response that the unclassified record the Oversight Committee subpoenaed exists, but they are refusing to provide it to the Committee,” Comer said at the time. “We’ve asked the FBI to not only provide this record, but to also inform us what it did to investigate these allegations. The FBI has failed to do both.”
Democrats have accused Republicans of simply trying to dig up any dirt they can on Biden to weaken him heading into next year’s presidential election. The White House has taken verbal potshots at them as well.
“House Republicans have shown no evidence of any policy decisions influenced by anything other than U.S. national interests,” tweeted White House spokesperson Ian Sams last week. “That’s because they can’t.”
House Republicans have been focused on the bribery issue for months. In February, Comer’s committee launched an investigation into business dealings linked to the first family to include Joe Biden himself and his son, Hunter Biden, as well as others.
The GOP-led committee sent a letter to Vuk Jeremic requesting a transcribed interview and the production of documents related to a now-defunct Chinese energy firm called CEFC, Hunter Biden, James Biden, and their associates. Jeremic has testified about his business relationships with certain CEFC officials, including Chairman Ye Jianming and Patrick Ho.
Jeremic was the Serbian foreign minister and later, president of the United Nations General Assembly from 2012 to 2013.
In the letter, the committee noted that it “is investigating President Biden’s connections to certain international and domestic business transactions and practices, including his family and associates who peddled influence to generate millions of dollars for the Biden family.