House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer says his panel will start proceedings to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt after he wasn’t happy with the FBI’s in-person review of debunked Republican conspiracy theories.
The document coveted by Comer is an FBI document known as an FD-1023, and alleges a scheme involving payment for policy outcomes while Joe Biden was Vice President.
Ranking member Jamie Raskin issued a statement following the FBI review on Monday, which briefed the committee that it was the Trump Adminisitration who investigated the tip in the FD-1023, and debunked the claims.
“Today, the FBI accommodated Chairman Comer’s May 3 subpoena by making available for in-person review the requested FD-1023 form and answering my and Chairman Comer’s questions for over an hour. As the FBI explained at length during today’s briefing, and in previous conversations leading up to today’s accommodation, releasing this form publicly could place the Confidential Human Source in grave danger and undermine the integrity of FBI programs and investigations going forward. Yet, rather than acknowledge these legitimate law enforcement concerns, Chairman Comer has declared his intent to hold Director Wray in contempt of Congress to further promote debunked Republican conspiracy theories.
“But here are the facts: the FD-1023 form, which we reviewed first-hand today, records what a Confidential Human Source told the FBI about conversations he had with individuals in Ukraine. The source, who has been described as highly credible by the FBI, told the FBI he could not provide any opinion on the underlying veracity of the information provided by these Ukrainian individuals.
“However, Trump’s own Department of Justice was able to reach a conclusion about this information. In January 2020, Attorney General Barr handpicked Scott Brady, the U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh, to review allegations by Rudy Giuliani that President Biden and Hunter Biden were involved in a Ukrainian corruption scheme. As part of this assessment, U.S. Attorney Brady, together with a team of experienced prosecutors and FBI agents, assessed relevant information, including interviewing this Confidential Human Source—an interview that was recorded in the subpoenaed FD-1023 form. Much of the information provided by the source was information Mr. Giuliani had already provided the FBI. In August 2020, Attorney General Barr and his hand-picked U.S. Attorney signed off on closing the assessment, having found no evidence to corroborate Mr. Giuliani’s allegations.
“We now know what I had long suspected: that Chairman Comer’s subpoena is about recycling stale and debunked Burisma conspiracy theories long peddled by Rudy Giuliani and a Russian agent, sanctioned by former President Trump’s own Treasury Department, as part of the effort to smear President Biden and help Mr. Trump’s reelection campaign.
“Chairman Comer’s actions prove that his interest in issuing this subpoena was never about seeking the truth, but was always about weaponizing the powers of this Committee to hold Director Wray in contempt as part of MAGA Republicans’ efforts to discredit and ultimately ‘dismantle’ the FBI.”