House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) is calling for “extreme measures” to break a stalemate with the FBI over a document believed to contain allegations of a criminal “bribery” scheme involving President Joe Biden.
Comer told Fox News the FBI refused to deliver the sought-after record during a meeting on Monday, prompting discussions among lawmakers about how to escalate the fight considering a subpoena deadline has come and gone.
Comer told host Jesse Watters that he has spoken to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) about possibly holding FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress. The chairman also said he has talked with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), a known champion for whistleblowers.
“We need to take extreme measures in trying to get this whistleblower to come forward publicly and say what exactly is in this document,” Comer said. The chairman added that House Republicans need to demand that GOP senators hold the bureau’s budget “hostage” until the FBI gets new leadership or delivers the record he seeks.
GOP investigators say whistleblower disclosures indicate there is an unclassified form filled out by the FBI that describes an alleged influence peddling scheme involving Biden, dating back to his time as vice president, and a foreign national.
In the FBI’s response to Comer on the day of the subpoena deadline, which was May 10, acting Assistant Director for Congressional Affairs Christopher Dunham declined to acknowledge the existence of the record but he did warn against the release of “unverified or incomplete” information that could “harm investigations, prejudice prosecutions or judicial proceedings, unfairly violate privacy or reputational interests, or create misimpressions in the public.”
Democrats have accused their GOP counterparts of ignoring alleged misconduct by former President Donald Trump while trying to dig up “dirt” on the Biden family and the White House has shot back at Republicans in Congress.
“House Republicans have shown no evidence of any policy decisions influenced by anything other than U.S. national interests,” tweeted White House spokesperson Ian Sams. “That’s because they can’t.”
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McCarthy revealed over the weekend that he had a conversation with Wray about the FBI complying with Comer’s subpoena.
“I explained to the director that we will do everything in our power, and we have jurisdiction over the FBI, that we have the right to see this document,” McCarthy said during an appearance on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures. “I believe after this call we will get this document.”
Comer, who says he also wants to know what the FBI did to investigate claims made against Biden, appeared less than optimistic on Monday.
“They don’t respect anyone in Congress,” Comer said. “They’ve been able to get away with this for a long time. The media continues to turn a blind eye. The Senate Republicans continue to fund the FBI. Why would you change your business model when you’re getting everything you want?”