The top US law enforcement agency has refused to give Congress documents detailing allegations of a bribery scheme.
The FBI has again refused to turn over documents subpoenaed by Congress regarding allegations of a bribery scheme allegedly perpetrated by then-Vice President Joe Biden, escalating a row with House Republicans over the agency’s handling of the case.
The latest refusal to comply with the subpoena came during an FBI briefing of the US House Oversight Committee on Monday. At issue is a so-called FD-1023 form, which details accusations that President Biden accepted foreign bribes in exchange for policy favors when he was vice president under President Barack Obama.
FBI officials previously missed a May 10 deadline to provide the requested materials to Congress. At the time, the agency claimed that the allegations against Biden were unverified and that the FD-1023 must be kept private to protect FBI informants. Ironically, a four-year probe by US special counsel John Durham found that the FBI improperly launched an investigation of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign based on unverified allegations funneled to the agency by rival candidate Hillary Clinton.
“This allegation happened a long time ago, and the FBI has done nothing,” House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer said on Monday in a Fox News interview. “We want to know exactly what they did. We not only want the file, but we want to know what action they took.”
Comer said Republican members of the committee are so concerned about the case because the allegations “fit a pattern” of then-Vice President Biden flying to such countries as Romania, taking an unusually active role on US foreign policy decisions, then receiving wire transfers from those nations into bank accounts linked to his family.
“This is one of the most serious accusations I think has ever been leveled against any political leader in the history of our country,” Comer said. “And for the FBI to act like, ‘Well, we don’t know, we can’t talk to you about this. Just trust us. . . .’ It’s not normal for the president of the United States’ children and grandchildren, and in-laws and nieces and nephews to receive wires from foreign nationals.”
US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, said on Sunday that he called FBI director Christopher Wray on Friday to demand the Biden file. “I believe after this call, we will get this document,” he said.
Comer said US media outlets have begun to report on the case because the American public is following it closely, despite their efforts to ignore or downplay the allegations against Biden. “The American people do not want to see public corruption,” he said. “They expect Congress to investigate public corruption.”
The US Department of Justice formally shut down an investigation of Clinton’s family foundation in August 2021, seven months after Biden took office as president, and the FBI destroyed all of the evidence compiled during the probe, according to a New York Times article published on Monday.