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Lawmakers, FBI react to Comer’s move to hold Wray in contempt

They say the FBI failed to comply with a subpoena for documents about Biden

  • House Oversight Committee moved to hold FBI director in Contempt of Congress
  • They say the FBI failed to comply with a subpoena for documents about Biden
  • House Oversight chair and FBI director will meet in coming days: report

Joe KhalilCassie BuchmanUpdated: MAY 25, 2023 / 11:47 AM CDT

(NewsNation) — Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, decried Republican Rep. James Comer’s move to hold FBI director Christopher Wray in Contempt of Congress as “political theater aimed at propping up Donald Trump’s poll numbers.” 

Comer, chair of the GOP-led House Oversight Committee, announced the group’s decision Wednesday after Wray did not produce documents related to an investigation into President Joe Biden’s dealings while he served as vice president. At the heart of the investigation is an alleged whistleblower complaint about potential criminal activity by Biden. House Oversight Committee members say the whistleblower alleged Biden took bribes from foreign entities in exchange for favorable policy decisions.

“Chairman Comer claims he wants to know what Trump’s Department of Justice did to investigate an unsubstantiated tip that was submitted to the FBI more than three years ago — a claim even Sen. (Chuck) Grassley has acknowledged may be untrue,” Raskin, ranking Democrat on the GOP-led committee, said.  “Rather than seek information that could answer that question, Chairman Comer demanded the production of a single document containing unverified information that he has already reviewed.”

Comer said the FBI director failed to comply with a subpoena requesting all 1023 forms citing the name “Biden.” This form is used by the FBI to record unverified reporting from a confidential human source. While the existence of a 1023 form itself is not confirmation any wrongdoing occurred, whistleblowers often use this method to communicate concerns. US revises last quarter’s economic growth up to 2.9% rate 

In a statement to NewsNation, an FBI spokesperson said the agency’s mission is to protect the American people, and that releasing “confidential source information could potentially jeopardize investigations and put lives at risk.”

“The FBI remains committed to cooperating with Congress’s oversight requests on this matter and others as we always have,” the statement said.

Grassley, R-Iowa, said in his own statement, meanwhile, that the FBI has “continued to tie itself in knots to ignore a legitimate subpoena from Congress.”

“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. If FBI leadership truly cares about protecting the agency’s reputation, they’d cooperate. These needless delays only harm the Bureau,” Grassley said.Abrams: Trump attorneys ‘should know better’ than letter 

Speaking to Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on Thursday, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio didn’t mince words about what he wants.

“Just give us the darn document, for goodness sake — it’s not classified, it’s a piece of paper, maybe a few pieces of paper,” Jordan said. “I’m so tired of the unelected folks thinking they run the government versus those people who are actually accountable to American citizens, to we the people, the voters.”

Should Wray still not produce the documents, Jordan said lawmakers would then try to make him do so through the appropriations process. 

“That’s where we ultimately have the authority, is the power of the purse,” Jordan said. “We tell them ‘You’re not going to get money for certain things, you can’t use money for certain things, we’re going to restrict the amount, the overall amount, we may cut how much money goes there — we have to look at all those factors.”

Comer and Wray will meet in coming days, Fox News reported.

An FBI spokesperson declined to comment to NewsNation on the anticipated meeting.

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