FBI formally refuses to produce Biden probe memo to Congress, Comer to hold Wray in contempt

Showdown on contempt vote could occur early next month.

Published: May 30, 2023 4:56pm

Updated: May 30, 2023 7:53pm

The FBI formally refused Tuesday to turn over to Congress an investigative memo alleging a bribery scheme involving President Joe Biden, prompting the chairman of the House Oversight Committee to begin proceedings to hold Director Christopher Wray in contempt.

Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the panel's chairman, said he still plans to meet with Wray on Wednesday but declared the bureau's notification of refusing to comply with a subpoena to be unfortunate.

“Today, the FBI informed the Committee that it will not provide the unclassified documents subpoenaed by the Committee. The FBI’s decision to stiff-arm Congress and hide this information from the American people is obstructionist and unacceptable," Comer said.

"While I have a call scheduled with FBI Director Wray tomorrow to discuss his response further, the Committee has been clear in its intent to protect Congressional oversight authorities and will now be taking steps to hold the FBI Director in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a lawful subpoena," he added. "Americans deserve the truth, and the Oversight Committee will continue to demand transparency from this nation’s chief law enforcement agency."

Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus Scott Perry (R-Pa.) suggested having FBI Director Christopher Wray sent to the congressional brig if he doesn't cooperate and produce the Biden probe memo to Congress.

"We can't press charges. But we certainly can refer charges," Perry said on the Tuesday edition of the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show. "And if he shows up on Capitol Hill, if he shows up in the House chamber, he can certainly end up in the brig here. I think those are harsh words, but we just can't have this defiance. The information as we understand it is not classified."

"Either he needs to comply or there needs to be severe consequences -- the most extreme competent consequences that the legislative body can provide for," Perry continued. "That's what needs to happen with an individual like him with his defiance about the truth that the American people deserve and own."

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