House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) fired back at a reporter for defending the FBI while the congressman was detailing evidence that the federal agency is engaging in widespread corruption and political cover-ups.
While speaking to the media, Comer suggested that he does not trust the FBI.
On Monday, Comer and other congressional investigators met with FBI Director Christopher Wray to review documents that allegedly expose details of a $5 million bribery scheme involving Democrat President Joe Biden.
Biden is accused of accepting a $5M bribe from China while serving as Obama’s vice president.
However, the FBI has been refusing to hand over the evidence to Congress after previously denying its existence.
After meeting with Wray and viewing an FBI document that allegedly contains evidence of a “criminal bribery scheme,” Comer fielded questions from the media.
One reporter asked Comer why he plans to move forward with contempt of Congress proceedings after Wray met with him and showed him the document, despite refusing to hand it over.
“Why do you need the document in hand?” the “journalist” asked.
“You just got a chance to review it.
“Why move forward with contempt when the FBI says they’re cooperating in good faith?”
In response, Comer said the dominant media narrative, which aligns with the White House’s narrative, is reason enough to question whether the FBI is taking seriously the allegations in the document.
“Let’s just look at what I’ve read in a lot of the media accounts, and with statements that [White House spokesperson] Ian Sams has made from the White House that ‘there’s no merit to this, this is crazy, this is a conspiracy theory, and you’re just supposed to take my word, or the FBI’s word,'” Comer began.
“I’m supposed to take the FBI’s word that they’re investigating this?” he questioned.
“Remember the main reason they’re not wanting to make this public is because they’re concerned about the source,” he emphasized.
Reporter: “Why do you need the document at hand? You just got a chance to view it … Why move forward with contempt when the FBI says they’re cooperating in good faith?”
House Oversight Chair James Comer: “I’m supposed to take the FBI’s word that they’re investigating this?” pic.twitter.com/sgPhRaobwL
— The Recount (@therecount) June 5, 2023
He claims bureau officials told him the information is “currently being used in an ongoing investigation.”
Though he is not certain, he said he assumes “that ongoing investigation is in Delaware.”
Comer’s apparent distrust of the FBI may be understandable because hours after the meeting, the Washington Post published a story, citing its own sources, that there is no investigation into the allegations.
House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who participated in the meeting with Comer and the FBI, also said there is no ongoing investigation.
In a statement, the FBI did not deny anything Comer said but rather took issue with his promise to pursue contempt charges.
The FBI has continually demonstrated its commitment to accommodate the committee’s request, including by producing the document in a reading room atthe U.S.
Capitol. This commonsense safeguard is often employed in response to congressional requests and in court proceedings to protect important concerns, such as the physical safety of sources and the integrity of investigations. The escalation to a contempt vote under these circumstances is unwarranted.
Meanwhile, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), a member of the House Oversight Committee, claimed the FBI is afraid for the safety of the confidential human source whose information is contained in the document.
Luna said the FBI fears the informant “will be killed” if unmasked.