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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy firmly pledged on Monday that contempt-of-Congress charges will be filed Thursday against FBI Director Christopher Wray if he does not present the entire House Oversight Committee a document a whistleblower purportedly alleges that then-Vice President Biden engaged in “bribe[s]” with a foreign national.
McCarthy, R-Calif., said Wray – who previously served as then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s attorney during the George Washington BridgeGate scandal – initially would not acknowledge the existence of the document.
But, Wray later assented to allowing the chairman and ranking member on the panel – Reps. James Comer, R-Ky., and Jamie Raskin, D-Md., – to view the document. McCarthy said that concession is still not in line with the Constitution.
“He will be held in contempt if he doesn’t do what is responsible to do,” McCarthy told “Jesse Watters Primetime.”
“Remember, in the Commitment to America, Republicans said we’d go and make sure we had accountability and transparency. We had a whistleblower come before us and say that he’d gone to the FBI about hearing of a $5 million bribe from a foreign individual to then-Vice President Biden and then talked about sending money to LLC’s and others,” McCarthy added.
“We subpoenaed that because, remember, Congress has the constitutional right of the oversight of the FBI. This document is not even classified. What is the first thing that Director Wray said? He didn’t even acknowledge whether he had it.”
McCarthy said Wray then said he wouldn’t provide the document he once purportedly didn’t acknowledge the existence of.
The Speaker said a phone call with Wray followed, where he was told he will be held in contempt if he doesn’t cooperate with Congress’ full authority.
Of Wray’s commitment to share the document with Comer and Raskin, McCarthy said, “That’s not how the Constitution works.”
“Everybody on the Committee of Oversight, Republican and Democrats, have a right to see this unclassified document. If he doesn’t come forth and allow everyone to see it, we will move contempt charges against him,” he stressed.
McCarthy said Secretary of State Antony Blinken is separately risking the same type of issue in regard to documents about the Afghanistan withdrawal.
“Congress has the constitutional right to oversee and to hold this government accountable. We are lone the voice of the people and we have a right to see it. And look. The FBI now says there’s an ongoing investigation,” McCarthy added.
Host Jesse Watters noted Wray might be concerned with potentially having a resume point showing him being subject to a contempt filing.
McCarthy said the director should indeed be concerned, and that the document was finally acknowledged more fully after contempt was put on the table.
McCarthy said the contempt filing would begin in Comer’s committee and move to the full House next week. He said the document purports to accuse Biden of being involved in a scheme that involved foreign money being supplied to LLCs and that Biden family members were allegedly receiving money from said LLC’s.
“This business the Bidens have: they don’t own any real estate. They don’t make anything. They don’t manufacture anything. But a lot of people in the Biden family get money — down to grandchildren, down to in-laws, but they don’t work there. Isn’t that a little awkward or odd, Doesn’t that raise the prospect that maybe you should look at this further?” he said.
In response to the threat of contempt, Raskin said in a statement the FBI properly accommodated Comer’s May 3 subpoena by making the document available for in-person review and answering his and the Kentuckian’s questions “for over an hour.”
“As the FBI explained at length during today’s briefing, and in previous conversations leading up to today’s accommodation, releasing this form publicly could place the Confidential Human Source in grave danger and undermine the integrity of FBI programs and investigations going forward,” the Takoma Park Democrat added.
Raskin further accused Comer of pursuing the “weaponization” of committee power as “part of MAGA Republicans’ efforts to discredit and ultimately ‘dismantle’ the FBI.”