House Republicans are making serious moves against FBI Director Christopher Wray, threatening to hold him in contempt of Congress. This action follows Wray’s refusal to release information regarding allegations involving former Vice President Joe Biden and a foreign entity, which have been described by House Republicans as potential criminal behavior.
House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman, James Comer of Kentucky, made Wray’s defiance public on Tuesday. He expressed the committee’s frustration with the FBI’s decision to withhold information from Congress and the American people.
Chairman Comer stated, “The FBI’s refusal to provide the subpoenaed unclassified documents to Congress is obstructionist and unacceptable.”
In light of the FBI’s uncooperative stance, the Committee is preparing to move forward with holding the FBI Director in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a lawful subpoena. “Americans deserve the truth, and the Oversight Committee will continue to demand transparency from this nation’s chief law enforcement agency,” Comer stressed.
Should the House decide to find Wray in criminal contempt of Congress, and if the Department of Justice or the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia decides to prosecute, the FBI Director could face up to a year in jail or a fine of $100,000. However, if prosecution does not take place, Congress has the option to file a civil suit in federal court. If successful, they could acquire the denied information.
This step forward has the backing of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who echoed Comer’s sentiments saying, “We will move contempt charges against Christopher Wray and the FBI. They are not above the law.”
Earlier, Chairman Comer accused the refusal to cooperate as being “obstructionist” and asserted that the “whistleblower disclosures that Joe Biden may have been involved in a criminal bribery scheme as vice president” warrant a thorough investigation.
In a prior letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Director Wray, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Comer outlined their demands and provided their reasoning.
The letter revealed, “We have received legally protected and highly credible unclassified whistleblower 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.”
Sen. Grassley expressed his frustration over the FBI’s actions, stating, “The FBI has continued to tie itself in knots to ignore a legitimate subpoena from Congress, which has a constitutional duty of oversight.”
He concluded with a stern warning: “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. These needless delays only harm the Bureau.”
This situation demonstrates the ongoing struggle between the FBI and Congressional Republicans, bringing into focus the need for transparency and accountability within our nation’s key institutions.