Tuesday 30 May 2023

McCarthy ‘Prepared’ To Hold FBI Director In Contempt

 House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Tuesday threatened a vote to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress.

The warning aims to end a weeks-long standoff between the bureau and House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY), who issued a subpoena with a final deadline set for May 30 over a document believed to contain allegations of a criminal “bribery” scheme involving President Joe Biden.

“Let me tell Director Christopher Wray right here, right now. If he misses the deadline today, I am prepared to move contempt charges in Congress against him,” McCarthy said during an appearance on Fox News.

“We have jurisdiction over this. He can send us that document,” McCarthy added. “We have the right to look at that, Republicans and Democrats alike in that committee. And if he does not follow through with the law, we will move contempt charges against Wray and the FBI. They are not above the law.”

Comer says whistleblower disclosures led him and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to believe the DOJ and FBI have an unclassified FD-1023 form describing the alleged scheme involving Biden, dating back to his time as vice president, and a foreign national.

This particular FD-1023 form may reference some variant of “five million” and “June 30, 2020,” Comer wrote in a letter to Wray last week. “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,” he added.

The FBI says FD-1023 forms are filled out to record claims from confidential human sources. Even after McCarthy spoke over the phone with Wray a couple of weeks back, lawmakers said the bureau resisted acknowledging the particular file they seek even exists. Publicly, the bureau has generally cautioned against disclosing unverified information from informants.

“The FBI’s mission is to protect the American people,” the FBI told the New York Post last week. “Releasing confidential source information could potentially jeopardize investigations and put lives at risk. The FBI remains committed to cooperating with Congress’s oversight requests on this matter and others as we always have.”


McCarthy addressed confidentiality issues in a separate interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday. “If there’s a concern about methods or areas of how we get it, redact names so we don’t see that. But you’ve got to show the document,” he said.

If the House, which is narrowly controlled by Republicans, were to approve a criminal contempt referral to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Wray could face a fine and up to a year’s imprisonment if federal prosecutors take up the case. There are also other forms of recourse, including civil enforcement, according to the American Bar Association

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