FBI Director Christopher Wray (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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House Republicans are now taking steps to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress after his repeated failures to hand over a declassified document showing crimes allegedly committed by Joe Biden.
Despite the FBI's ongoing efforts to avoid transparency and flout the will of Congress, the bureau maintains that it is committed to cooperating with the American people's elected representatives.
What's the background?
TheBlaze previously reported that in early May, congressional Republicans subpoenaed the FBI for a document possibly containing evidence of an alleged criminal scheme involving Biden.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) noted in a corresponding May 3 letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Wray that the form contains "valuable, verifiable information" describing "an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions."
Noting that the Biden DOJ and FBI have a history of "allowing political bias to infect their decision-making process," the Republican duo indicated they sought to "conduct an independent and objective review of this matter, free from those agencies' influence," apparently doubtful that anything would otherwise be done about the allegations.
Lawmakers demanded that the report be supplied by May 10. However, rather than comply, the bureau responded with a six-page letter rationalizing its decision to ignore congressional oversight.
Comer said the FBI's refusal to turn over the document was "unacceptable."
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy expressed some hope last week that the FBI might ultimately do right by the American people's elected representatives.
"I explained to the director that we will do everything in our power, and we have the jurisdiction over the FBI, and we have the right to see this document," McCarthy told Fox News. "I believe after this call, we will get this document."
McCarthy's faith appears to have been misplaced.
FBI shunts accountability once more
The latest deadline, May 30, came and went without the FBI satisfying its obligation.
The FBI notified the House Oversight Committee it would continue to withhold the unclassified documents.
Comer stated Tuesday, "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."
While Comer is set to speak with Wray Wednesday to discuss the FBI's continued unaccountability, the Kentucky Republican indicated, "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."
"Americans deserve the truth, and the Oversight Committee will continue to demand transparency from this nation’s chief law enforcement agency," added Comer.
The FBI, which has recently demonstrated a questionable grasp of words' real meanings and capacity for honesty, responded in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital, saying the bureau "remains committed to cooperating with the Committee in good faith."
"In a letter to Chairman Comer earlier today, the FBI committed to providing access to information responsive to the Committee’s subpoena in a format and setting that maintains confidentiality and protects important security interests and the integrity of FBI investigations," continued the FBI. "Any discussion of escalation under these circumstances is unnecessary."
Comer suggested to Fox News that the FBI was just stalling.
"We don't have confidence in Director Wray. We're already drafting legislation to hold an Oversight Committee markup next week to hold FBI Director Wray in contempt of Congress," said Comer.
\u201cRep. @JamesComer: \u201cWe are already in the process of drafting legislation to hold an Oversight Committee markup next week to hold FBI Director Wray in contempt of Congress.\u201d\u201d— GOP (@GOP) 1685535211
Impeach or imprison
Some have suggested the contempt charge will ultimately be toothless.
Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk noted, "The House will vote to hold the FBI Director in contempt of Congress, which will then be sent to DOJ/FBI so Wray can decide whether or not to bring criminal charges against himself. Welcome to DC."
Mike Davis, founder of the Article III Project and former chief counsel for nominations to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, suggested that the House should not just charge Wray with contempt, but vote to impeach him for "refusing to produce to Congress a document evidencing the FBI covered up then-Vice President Joe Biden taking a foreign bribe and changing American policy."
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) appeared to agree with Davis, tweeting, "Chris Wray’s refusal to comply with a subpoena for FD-1023 is an affront to the checks and balances of our government. Wray should be impeached," adding, "FBI Director Wray’s continuous attempts to protect Joe Biden and his entire criminal family to further our country’s two-tiered justice system must come to an end."
Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told Just the News that Wray should be tossed into the U.S. Capitol's secretive detention jail.
Perry underscored that Wray's defiance cannot go unanswered, saying, "Either he needs to comply or there needs to be severe consequences – the most extreme competent consequences that the legislative body can provide for."
"We can't press charges. But we certainly can refer charges," said Perry. "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."
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.