House Republicans will move to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress after Wray refused to provide information about allegations of what has been characterized by House Republicans as allegations of “a criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and a foreign national.”
House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer of Kentucky announced Wray’s intransigence on Tuesday, according to a news release on the website of the committee.
“Today, the FBI informed the Committee that it will not provide the unclassified documents subpoenaed by the Committee. The FBI’s decision to stiff-arm Congress and hide this information from the American people is obstructionist and unacceptable,” Comer said.
Today, the FBI informed @GOPoversight that it will not provide the unclassified documents subpoenaed by the Committee.
The Committee will now be taking steps to hold FBI Director Wray in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a lawful subpoena.
— Rep. James Comer (@RepJamesComer) May 30, 2023
“While I have a call scheduled with FBI Director Wray tomorrow to discuss his response further, the Committee has been clear in its intent to protect Congressional oversight authorities and will now be taking steps to hold the FBI Director in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a lawful subpoena,” he said.
“Americans deserve the truth, and the Oversight Committee will continue to demand transparency from this nation’s chief law enforcement agency,” Comer continued.
If the full House votes to find Wray in criminal contempt of Congress, and either the Department of Justice or the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia prosecute the case, he could face penalties of up to 12 months in jail or a $100,000 fine, according to findlaw.com.
If no prosecution takes place, Congress can file a civil suit in federal court and, if successful, can obtain whatever was denied to Congress initially.
Moving ahead with the charge is supported by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, according to the Washington Times.
“We will move contempt charges against Christopher Wray and the FBI. They are not above the law,” he said.
“We have jurisdiction over the FBI, which they seem to act like we do not. I personally called Director Wray and told him he needed to send that document. Today is the deadline,” he said.
In an earlier release on the website of the House Oversight Committee, Comer called the refusal “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,” he said.
“We have received legally protected and highly credible unclassified whistleblower disclosures. Based on those disclosures, it has come to our attention that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) possess an unclassified FD-1023 form that describes an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions,” the letter said.
“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,” Grassley of Iowa said in a statement on his website.
“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,” he continued.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.