House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has threatened to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress if he fails to meet the May 30 deadline set by the House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY), regarding a subpoena for documents that are believed to contain allegations of a criminal “bribery” scheme involving President Joe Biden.
McCarthy spoke about his intentions during an appearance on Fox News, stating, “If he misses the deadline today, I am prepared to move contempt charges in Congress against him…We have the right to look at that, Republicans and Democrats alike in that committee. And if he does not follow through with the law, we will move contempt charges against Wray and the FBI. They are not above the law.”
Comer says whistleblower disclosures led him and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to believe the DOJ and FBI have an unclassified FD-1023 form describing the alleged scheme involving Biden, dating back to his time as vice president, and a foreign national. However, the FBI has generally cautioned against disclosing unverified information from informants.
Despite McCarthy speaking to Wray over the phone, the FBI has resisted acknowledging the particular file lawmakers seek even exists. The bureau has emphasized protecting the identity of confidential human sources and indicated that releasing confidential source information could potentially jeopardize investigations and put lives at risk. In a letter to Wray last week, Comer wrote, “The FBI’s mission is to protect the American people. Releasing confidential source information could potentially jeopardize investigations and put lives at risk. The FBI remains committed to cooperating with Congress’s oversight requests on this matter and others as we always have.”
McCarthy addressed confidentiality issues on Tuesday during an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, stating, “If there’s a concern about methods or areas of how we get it, redact names so we don’t see that. But you’ve got to show the document.” If the House, which is narrowly controlled by Republicans, were to approve a criminal contempt referral to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Wray could face a fine and up to a year’s imprisonment if federal prosecutors take up the case. However, there are other forms of recourse, including civil enforcement, according to the American Bar Association.
The Daily Wire reached out to the FBI for comment regarding McCarthy’s warning to Wray but did not receive a response. The standoff between the House Oversight Committee and the FBI continues.