Incoming House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. James Comer is revealing new details of the expansive probe he has teed up for President Biden, calling it an investigation of the ‘Biden family’ and of alleged ‘influence pedaling’ – and saying it will mine Hunter Biden’s laptop and Elon Musk’s document dumps.
Comer, who is the top member of the GOP minority on the committee for now, tipped his plans to fire off letters to three Twitter officials in an appearance on Sean Hannity’s show – a signal of how the new House GOP will amplify its attacks.
‘There’s nothing like it in the history of America. We’ve never had a family that has influence-pedaled to this degree,’ said Comer, a Kentucky Republican who was elected to the House in 2016.
‘The evidence is based a lot in part with what the documents are and what the data is on the laptop,’ he told Hannity – pointing the the infamous laptop which contained a trove of information on Hunter’s business dealings, as well as unflattering personal information.
Rep. James Comer of Kentucky says he is firing off letters to three current or former Twitter executives, in a probe he described as an examination of Biden family influence pedaling. He said it was founded on documents dumped by Twitter boss Elon Musk and information from Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop
‘So, Sean, I’m breaking on your show tonight, based on the internal documents that Elon Musk released this weekend, the Oversight Committee will be sending a letter tomorrow morning to the three Twitter employees – Miss Gadde, [Yoel] Roth, and [James] Baker – that were implicated in the cover-up of the laptop story, three letters requesting their presence in front of the Oversight Committee in January.’
Comer used the genteel language ‘requesting their presence’ – but later in the interview he referenced the majority’s subpoena power – as he sketched out a sprawling probe that will look at Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, the Biden campaign, the Democratic National Committee, Twitter, the FBI, China, and the ‘Green New Deal.’
His appearance came after the White House called the Twitter release a ‘distraction’ at a time when ‘Twitter is facing very real and very serious questions about the rising volume of anger, hate and antisemitism on their platform,’ White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
‘We decline to comment,’ a White House spokesman said when asked about Comer’s comments.
Comer also raised his suspicion that the Twitter officials acted at the behest of the FBI, which has been revealed to have warned Twitter and big tech firms about a potential ‘hack and leak’ operation in the finals weeks of the presidential campaign.
That came amid heightened sensitivity over the hacking of Hillary Clinton allies and the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 elections, which U.S. determined was backed by the Kremlin.
Comer added Roth, the former head of safety and integrity at Twitter, to his intended witness list, after earlier mentioning Gadde and James Baker, former general counsel of the FBI.
Roth in December 2020 told the Federal Elections Commission about warnings Twitter was getting from the FBI during the Biden-Trump campaign.
‘I was told in these meetings that the intelligence community expected that individuals associated with political campaigns would be subject to hacking attacks and that material obtained through those hacking attacks would likely be disseminated over social media platforms, including Twitter,’ he told the Commission.
‘I also learned in these meetings that there were rumors that a hack-and-leak operation would involve Hunter Biden,’ he said.
Comer, who appeared alongside Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, indicated his panel planned to grill the potential witnesses on FBI conduct and outreach by the Biden campaign. Jordan helped probe the FBI’s conduct during the Russia probe when House Republicans were last in control.
‘What we’re going to ask them was who was influencing your decision-making? Did you do this unilaterally or did you do this based on what you were told from the Biden campaign, from the Democrat National Committee, or even worse — and as I suspect — from the FBI?’
He mentioned new Twitter boss Elon Musk’s ‘document dump’ of his new company’s internal communications, and said the witnesses needed to get their ‘stories straight.’
“So they’re going to have a few weeks to get their stories straight. And they’re going to be able to come under oath in front of the House Oversight Committee and tell the American people what really happened and why — why were they so intent on suppressing this story?’ he said.
He told Hannity the ‘whole purpose of this investigation is to determine whether or not this White House is compromised.’
Then he jumped from revelations linked to the laptop about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China to the ‘Green New Deal.’
‘Who wants the Green New Deal more than anyone other than a few liberals in California? China. They want to put us at a competitive disadvantage. So a lot of the bad decisions this administration is making may be because they’re compromised because of the millions of dollars they they’ve received through influence pedaling from our adversaries in China, Russia and the Middle East.’
Comer spoke hours after he said he wants James Baker, a former top FBI lawyer who took a role at Twitter, to testify in a probe that is already making use of public disclosures by new Twitter boss Elon Musk
He also mentioned Gadde, one of the first executives Musk fired after his $44 billion takeover of the company went through.
‘Absolutely, Baker and [former Twitter executive] Vijaya Gadde are probably the two most high-profile Twitter employees that we want to hear from,’ Comer told Fox & Friends on Monday.
Then he linked the executives to Twitter’s move to suppress a New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop weeks before Election Day in 2020 – and mentioned they could have a ‘lot of problems.’
House Oversight Committee ranking member Rep. James Comer said the panel will call top Twitter executives after Republicans assume control of the House. ‘This was a cover-up at the highest levels of the government to protect Joe Biden,’ he said, pointing to a report on FBI meetings with Twitter execs to warn about potential hacking operations
‘My advice to them is, prior to coming before the Oversight Committee in January or February, as quick as we can get them in front of the Oversight Committee, is they need to look very hard to try to find evidence as to why they suppressed this story,’ he said.
‘If they can’t find evidence from a government entity like the FBI saying to in fact suppress this story then my next bit of advice for them would be to contact their errors and omissions insurance company, because they’re going to have a lot of problems moving forward. Because this was a such an important story and the fact that they suppressed it when we now know it was very true and very damaging to the Biden campaign is very concerning.’
Word of Comer’s evolving intentions about his probe comes hours after Hunter Biden appeared at the White House for an event honoring Kennedy Center Honors recipients – a signal that the White House intends to help keep up his profile at a time of coming attacks.
He mentioned general counsel Vijaya Gadde as among ‘the two most high-profile Twitter employees that we want to hear from’
Gadde, who was Twitter’s chief legal counsel, was won of the first officials pushed out by Musk after he took over the company. The House Oversight Committee will ask her to appear
Comer said Musk would be putting out more information from inside Twitter for the period after Biden took office
Former President Donald Trump has long gone after Baker and other top FBI officials during the Russia probe
Hunter Biden took a high profile role during events for the Kennedy Center Honorees Sunday
The FBI had warned the firm of potential hack and leak operations in the weeks leading up to the election. Twitter execs initially relied on hacking policies to justify suppressing a story on Hunter Biden’s laptop
Comer’s ascension and the GOP takeover will demonstrate the stark contrast in control of the committee by the GOP opposition. For years, Democrats used the House Oversight panel to seek information on the Trump hotel in Washington and to obtain financial information about the former president from his accounting firm.
Comer, who published a report on voting irregularities but voted to count votes certified by states for Joe Biden on January 6, vowed to probe what he called a ‘Biden family influence peddling investigation.’
That was a reference to a web of Hunter Biden business dealings, some of which were exposed in the infamous laptop that featured in New York Post report that Twitter suppressed for a period of time.
Comer pointed to a government role, although it was the Trump administration who was in charge at the time the Biden campaign asks Twitter execs to take down some tweets.
Former General Counsel for the FBI James Baker later joined Twitter
He referenced a New York Post report that the FBI had warned Twitter during weekly meetings to expect ‘hack-and-leak operations,’ guidance that may have colored how they handled revelations about the laptop, which a Wilmington computer repair shop owner said Hunter brought in for repairs and then abandoned.
‘This was a cover-up at the highest levels of the government to protect Joe Biden,’ said Comer.
‘Let’s remember what they’re protecting here. They’re protecting the laptop and the contents of the laptop, which show not only did Joe Biden know full well what his son and his brothers were doing with respect to influence peddling with our adversaries, it shows that Joe Biden was very involved with this effort and this is something that should concern every American,’ said Comer.
‘Big tech was always going to be a priority for the Republican majority,’ he said of his committee’s plans.
‘The federal government was involved in suppressing this story,’ he said. He noted the information put out by Musk so far was ‘pre-Biden,’ and suggested there was more to come.