WASHINGTON — Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) can’t say for sure Joe Biden has ever asked for a bribe, but he knows someone said it happened.
And if the FBI doesn’t declare the mysterious allegation true or false, Comer announcement this week, Republicans will seek to hold bureau chief Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress – with Comer tirelessly promoting the corruption rumor in the meantime.
It’s the latest chapter in the House Oversight Committee Chairman’s quest for dirt on the President’s family. The investigation so far has found shell companies allegedly funneling foreign money to family members linked to Hunter Biden’s self-enrichment schemes, beginning when his vice-presidency ended. father and continuing while Joe Biden was away.
Comer has shown no connection to the president himself, a failure for which the Kentucky Republican has been skewered by articles from The New York Times and even Fox News. But Comer told HuffPost he views the corruption allegation as the thing that brings the rest of his material together, and he said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is behind him.
“The New York Times wants to say, ‘Well, there’s nothing in there about Joe Biden,'” Comer said. “Here we have a very credible person who alleged that he solicited a bribe.”
Congressional Republicans have sought to tarnish the Justice Department’s image this year as it investigates former President Donald Trump and prosecutes his supporters for their involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol riot. Comer and his colleagues expressed the FBI’s refusal to spit out information about the corruption allegation as itself suspicious, potentially another example of the so-called Deep State protecting the Bidens.
This is an FBI document, an FD-1023 form, which reflects information from a confidential source in June 2020, at the height of the presidential campaign. It concerns what Comer called a “bribery scheme with a foreign national” when Biden was vice president – the kind of damaging allegation Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to produce in 2019, ultimately leading to Trump’s first impeachment.
Comer already knows what the June 2020 council says. Although he hasn’t seen the document himself, he did review “basically something about the testimony,” he told HuffPost. But he wants the FBI to hand him over.
In its initial response to Comer earlier this month, the FBI said releasing the material could risk endangering a confidential source and jeopardizing ongoing or future investigations. And that suggested that an FD-1023 form by itself wouldn’t have the context Comer was looking for.
“An FD-1023 form documents information given to an FBI agent online,” wrote Christopher Dunham, the FBI’s acting deputy director for congressional affairs. “Recording the information does not validate the information, establish its credibility, or compare it to other information known or developed by the FBI.”
Comer said all they had to do was remove the source’s name and complained that the FBI wouldn’t even confirm the document’s existence.
“They won’t tell us if they’ve looked into it or not, if they even have the form or not, let alone what they’ve determined or if there’s an ongoing investigation,” he said. he declares.
Comer originally requested from the FBI all FD-1023 forms from June 2020 that mentioned the name “Biden.” This week, in a follow-up letter to the office, he narrowed the search to documents that also include the terms “June 30” and “five million,” which Comer says is the amount of money “that the national stranger would have paid to receive the desired political outcome” from Biden ― as if the FBI was simply having trouble finding the document.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the oversight committee, said Comer wasn’t actually trying to get to the bottom of the allegation because his subpoena only asked for forms and documents. attachments FD-1023.
“President Comer did not subpoena any information about the FBI’s investigation into this, or any response that there may have been, or any other information about it,” he said Thursday. “It’s just this sheet of paper.”
Raskin told HuffPost that he knew nothing of the substance of the allegation and that Democratic committee staffers were excluded from the investigation of Republican members.
“This is someone who introduces, on an unverified and unsubstantiated basis, a suggestion of subjective tipping information,” he said. “That’s all it is.”
Republicans learned of the form from a whistleblower, one of several whose allegations were recently highlighted on Capitol Hill. Member of the supervisory committee Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said this week that the whistleblower who informed Republicans of the form is highly credible and “in fear for his life.” But Comer said the FD-1023 whistleblower was not the same one linked to an informant who Comer said had missing in action earlier this month.
Some of the whistleblowers turned out to be less convincing than initially announced. A former FBI agent alleging corruption at the Justice Department was someone who didn’t think the FBI should go after the Jan. 6 rioters and essentially refused to do his job. Another allegedly obstructed an investigation on January 6 because he believed in a conspiracy theory that the Capitol riot was orchestrated by the government.
And Comer has been a little grandiose about his work. Before releasing a summary of the preliminary findings of the oversight committee of its investigation into front companies linked to Hunter Biden and other members of his family, Comer proclaimed that the material would result in “Judgment Dayfor the White House. But after the report was released, Fox News host Steve Doocy complained that Comer had provided “no evidence that Joe Biden had done anything illegal”.
Still, Comer suggested this week that with the corruption allegation, he implicated Biden in criminal activity when he was vice president.
“The vice president created his family to profit from influence peddling,” Comer said on Fox Business in an interview about the FBI subpoena. “By then his political career was more than likely over, so he was trying to make some money. And unfortunately he did it while he was in power, and he did it in a very illegal way through these front companies.