FBI To Face Contempt Charges Over Biden Docs

Biden Docs
FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 23, 2021. | Image by Stefani Reynolds/Pool via REUTERS

House Republicans are preparing to advance contempt charges against FBI Director Christopher Wray after he failed to meet a Tuesday deadline for a congressional subpoena requesting documentation on alleged criminal activity involving President Joe Biden.

House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-KY) previously claimed he received “highly credible unclassified whistleblower disclosures” about an unclassified FD-1023 document detailing “an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions,” as covered by The Dallas Express.

The Oversight Committee issued a subpoena to the FBI for the FD-1023, an agency form used to document reporting from confidential human sources. The subpoena’s deadline was Tuesday, but the FBI failed to provide the document.

Chairman Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) issued a statement on Wednesday following a phone call with Wray during which they informed him he would face contempt charges if he did not provide the unclassified documents.

“Today, FBI Director Wray confirmed the existence of the FD-1023 form alleging then-Vice President Biden engaged in a criminal bribery scheme with a foreign national,” Comer said. “However, Director Wray did not commit to producing the documents subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee.”

Comer acknowledged that Wray had offered to allow himself and Grassley to see the documents in person at FBI headquarters “after a month of refusing to even acknowledge that the form existed.”

However, Comer insisted that “anything short of producing these documents to the House Oversight Committee is not in compliance with the subpoena.”

“If the FBI fails to hand over the FD-1023 form as required by the subpoena, the House Oversight Committee will begin contempt of Congress proceedings,” he said.

Grassley asserted that the FBI has jeopardized its own sources by “apparently leaking classified information to the news media in recent weeks.”

“Director Wray confirmed what my whistleblowers have told me pursuant to legally protected disclosures: the FBI-generated document is real, but the bureau has yet to provide it to Congress in defiance of a legitimate congressional subpoena,” he said. “This failure comes with consequences.”

However, in a statement emailed to The Dallas Express, the FBI insisted that it “remains committed to cooperating with the Committee in good faith.”

The FBI said it sent a letter to Comer on Tuesday telling him the agency is “committed to providing access to information responsive to the Committee’s subpoena in a format and setting that maintains confidentiality and protects important security interests and the integrity of FBI investigations.”

“Any discussion of escalation under these circumstances is unnecessary,” the bureau said.

A copy of the FBI’s letter to Comer was obtained by Politico.

In the letter, FBI Acting Assistant Director Christopher Dunham said the FBI is “committed to working to provide the Committee information necessary for your legitimate oversight interests, while also protecting Executive Branch confidentiality interests and law enforcement responsibilities.”

In a Tuesday statement, Comer said the FBI told the Oversight 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. “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.”

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Dunham has claimed turning over the documents requested by the Oversight Committee could risk “serious harms” to ongoing investigations and judicial proceedings.

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