House GOP drops plan to hold FBI director in contempt
The Republican-led House Oversight Committee on Wednesday dropped its plans to advance a measure holding FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress.
Why it matters: The contempt push was the closest House Republicans have come to direct action against an executive branch official as part of their vast array of probes into the Biden administration.
- The House Foreign Affairs Committee similarly scrapped its plans last month to target Secretary of State Antony Blinken with contempt.
- GOP lawmakers have also inched closer to impeachment proceedings against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Driving the news: Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) said in a statement the FBI accepted his demand to let all his panel's members review a 2020 document detailing allegations against President Biden.
- "After weeks of refusing to even admit the FD-1023 record exists, the FBI has caved," Comer said, calling it "an important step toward conducting oversight of the FBI."
- The committee's planned markup on its 17-page contempt resolution, planned for Thursday, has been removed from the schedule.
Context: Republicans have honed in on the document — which, they say, accuses Biden of taking payments from a foreign national in exchange for affecting policy decisions as vice president — to try to bolster their case that he and his family are corrupt.
- FD-1023 forms are used to collect unverified reports from the FBI's confidential human sources but do not necessarily constitute proof of wrongdoing.
- Comer and Ranking Member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) received a briefing on the document on Monday, but came away with contradictory conclusions about its significance, Axios' Stef Kight reported.
The other side: Raskin said in a statement Wednesday the FBI told him Trump Justice Department officials evaluated the allegations in early 2020, but shut the assessment down later that year without further action.
- "As Republicans’ investigation into President Biden has uncovered no evidence of wrongdoing, they continue to attempt to discredit and dismantle the FBI to help prop up Donald Trump's poll numbers," Raskin said.