By Mimi Nguyen Ly
The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, led by GOP Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), has now scrapped plans to convene a vote to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress.
Comer had been after an unclassified FD-1023 form that the FBI generated, which contained allegations that then-Vice President Joe Biden took a bribe from a foreign national. The committee had issued a subpoena in early May, with a deadline of May 31, requesting all FD-1023 forms containing the name “Biden.”
The FD-1023 forms are used by FBI agents to collect unverified reports from various confidential human sources. The information on the form represents what was told to an FBI agent.
Comer and other House Republicans had threatened to hold Wray in contempt if he did not produce the documents. Earlier on Wednesday, the committee introduced a 17-page resolution (pdf) doing just that. A business meeting to have the full committee consider the resolution was scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m. (EST).
But by late Wednesday, the committee announced that the FBI has decided to provide access to some documents— including the FD-1023 form Comer had been after—and that the committee’s business meeting on Thursday to vote on holding Wray in contempt was now scrapped.
“After weeks of refusing to even admit the FD-1023 record exists, the FBI has caved and is now allowing all members of the Oversight and Accountability Committee to review this unclassified record that memorializes a confidential human source’s conversations with a foreign national who claimed to have bribed then-Vice President Joe Biden,” Comer said in a statement.
“Americans have lost trust in the FBI’s ability to enforce the law impartially and demand answers, transparency, and accountability. Allowing all Oversight Committee members to review this record is an important step toward conducting oversight of the FBI and holding it accountable to the American people.”
Comer said that the allegations contained within the unclassified record “are not closed as the White House and Democrats would have the American people believe.”
He noted that other FBI officials have said the record is being used in an ongoing investigation.
“We also know the confidential human source who provided this information is highly credible and trusted, has worked with the FBI for over a decade, and has been paid six figures,” Comer said of the unclassified FD-1023 form.
“The allegations contained within this record track closely with the Oversight Committee’s investigation of the Biden family’s influence peddling schemes. The Oversight Committee will continue to follow the facts and ensure accountability for the American people.”
Wray had told Republicans on May 31 that the document exists but the FBI has continued to be reluctant to hand the form over. The FBI previously told Comer in a letter on May 10 that releasing the forms could put their confidential sources at risk.
“Confidential human sources often provide information to the FBI at great risk to themselves and their loved ones,” the FBI said, in part, in the letter (pdf). “Protecting the identities and information provided by confidential human sources from unnecessary disclosure or undue influence is therefore critical not only because of safety concerns but also to avoid chilling their candor or willingness to continue reporting to the FBI.”
Ranking Member Asserts Bribery Probe Was Closed
Former Attorney General William Barr earlier on Wednesday told The Epoch Times that the Department of Justice (DOJ) under his watch didn’t close an investigation into Biden, and that the FD-1023 form was “sent to Delaware for further investigation.”
The comments contradict assertions from House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.).
On June 4, while appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Raskin dismissed the investigation as politically motivated and contended that Barr’s DOJ closed the investigation while President Donald Trump was in office.
Raskin accused the Republican majority of “closing out” the Democrats and said that, as a result, he’s uncertain about the contents of the FD-1023 form. However, from public reporting, he said he understands the form suggests a connection to Hunter Biden’s business activities in Ukraine.
On Wednesday, Raskin said in a statement that he was told by the FBI that officials of the DOJ under the Trump administration looked into the allegations in January 2020 but closed the probe by August 2020.
Joseph Lord contributed to this report.