Comer threatens to initiate contempt of Congress proceedings if Director Wray continues to defy subpoena
WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today are blasting FBI Director Christopher Wray for defying a congressional subpoena for an unclassified record alleging a criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and a foreign national. The document, an FBI-generated FD-1023 form, allegedly details an arrangement involving an exchange of money for policy decisions. In a new letter to Director Wray, Chairman Comer warns that if the FBI fails to produce the record by May 30, 2023, the Oversight Committee will initiate contempt of Congress proceedings.
“The FBI’s refusal to provide this single document is obstructionist. Whistleblower disclosures that Joe Biden may have been involved in a criminal bribery scheme as Vice President track closely with what we are seeing in our investigation into the Biden family’s influence peddling schemes. Congress and the American people need to know what, if anything, the FBI did to verify the allegations contained within this record. If Director Wray refuses to hand over this unclassified record, the Oversight Committee will begin contempt of Congress proceedings,” said Chairman Comer.
FBI staff indicated to Oversight Committee staff the search terms contained in Chairman Comer’s subpoena were broad because there were many responsive documents containing the term “Biden” in its confidential human source database for June 2020. Chairman Comer is narrowing the breadth of the subpoena by providing two additional terms that may be referenced in the FD-1023 form: “June 30, 2020” and “five million.” These terms relate to the date on the FD-1023 form and its reference to the amount of money the foreign national allegedly paid to receive the desired policy outcome.
“The FBI has continued to tie itself in knots to ignore a legitimate subpoena from Congress, which has a constitutional duty of oversight. 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. 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,” Senator Grassley said.
Chairman Comer issued a subpoena for the unclassified FBI record on May 3, 2023 with a return date of May 10, 2023. After the FBI failed to produce the record, Oversight Committee counsel have attended two in-person meetings with FBI officials where they again refused to produce the FD-1023 form or offer any reasonable accommodation that would allow the Committee to review the document. On May 16, 2023, Senator Grassley and Chairman Comer requested a phone call with Director Wray to discuss the subpoena, but despite repeated requests the FBI has not scheduled a phone call.
Read Chairman Comer’s letter to Director Wray here.