House Oversight chair struggles to defend need for FBI document behind contempt of Congress hearings
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer (R-KY) Monday afternoon announced he will seek to obtain a contempt of Congress referral and conviction against FBI Director Chris Wray.
For months conservatives have been talking about a document supposedly damaging to President Joe Biden that the Federal Bureau of Investigation only recently verified exists. It is not classified, but it has also not been proven accurate. It was deemed so spurious even then-Attorney General Bill Barr questioned its credibility.
Chairman Comer has demanded Director Wray not only show him the document – which the Bureau did Monday – but hand it over to the Oversight Committee.
After the FBI, according to Comer, refused to hand over the document, Comer announced, “we will now initiate contempt of Congress hearings.”
On Monday, Comer said the FBI is using the document as part of an ongoing investigation.
Comer announced he will seek contempt of Congress charges against Wray even after the Federal Bureau of Investigation briefed him Monday on the document, allegedly from an unverified whistleblower, claiming then-Vice President Joe Biden engaged in an unethical or unlawful act.
Some reports say the document alleges Biden accepted a bribe in exchange for enacting a policy decision, although there has been no evidence to support that claim.
When asked by a reporter why he is pursuing a contempt of Congress charge against Wray, since he has now seen the document and been briefed on it, Comer struggled to defend his actions.
“So why do you need to document at hand? You just got a chance to view it, so why do you need it? Why move forward with contempt when the FBI says they’re cooperating in good faith?” the reporter asked.
“Well,” Comer replied, “if, let’s just look at what, what I’ve read in a lot of the media accounts and with statements that Ian Sam’s has made from the White House, that, ‘There’s no merit to this. this is crazy. This is a conspiracy theory.’ And you’re just supposed to take my word or, or the FBI’s word, I’m supposed to take the FBI’s word that they’re investigating this, or that, uh, you, you’re gonna write that the source is unverified wherever, remember, the main reason they’re not wanting to make this public is because they’re concerned about the source.”
Comer also told reporters, “All I know is there’s an ongoing investigation. They’ve confirmed there’s an ongoing investigation, using, this information. I assume that ongoing investigation is in Delaware. I don’t know that. But I assume that.”
Meanwhile, Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jamie Raskin was asked about Comer’s remarks that the document is part of an ongoing investigation.
Shocked and stunned, with his jaw literally hanging open, Raskin looked around as reporters told him what the chairman said, and he replied, “then I must have missed that because I had not heard that this is part of any ongoing investigation.
Comer, according to the clip below, also described the source of the allegation as “highly credible,” but Raskin appeared to correct Comer, saying the highly credible source “reported a conversation with someone else.”
Raskin has previously described the document as a “tip,” containing “unsubstantiated, second-hand claims.”
The unverified document, called an FD-1023 form, “has origins in a tranche of documents that Rudy Giuliani provided to the Justice Department in 2020, people briefed on the matter said,” CNN has reported.
“According to Comer,” CNN added last week, the FD-1023 form, “dated June 30, 2020, says [a] foreign national allegedly paid $5 million to receive a desired policy outcome, based on unclassified and legally protected whistleblower disclosures.”
“The allegations of wrongdoing by the then-vice president,” CNN added, many originating from sources in Ukraine, were dubious enough that Attorney General William Barr in early 2020 directed that they be reviewed by a US attorney in Pittsburgh, in part because Barr was concerned that Giuliani’s document tranche could taint the ongoing Hunter Biden investigation overseen by the Delaware US attorney.”
Watch the video clips above or at this link.
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