McCarthy threatens FBI Director Wray with contempt charges

The FBI Director has, thus far, resisted turning over key documents that could facilitate a probe into alleged wrongdoing when Biden was Vice President.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has warned that he will move contempt charges against FBI Director Christopher Wray if he fails to produce a subpoenaed document by the deadline set by the House Oversight Committee.

Driving the news: The subpoena, issued by Oversight Committee chair James Comer (R–Ky.), requests any FD-1023 forms from June 2020 that contain the word “Biden,” which Comer claims contain information related to “an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions.”


  • In a letter sent to Wray on May 24, Comer expressed frustration at the FBI’s inability to accommodate the committee’s request and threatened to bring contempt charges if the subpoena deadline of May 30 was not met.
  • McCarthy’s pledge to bring contempt charges gives weight to Comer’s threat. He said he personally called Wray to tell him to produce the document.
  • The FBI has not yet responded to the subpoena or the threat of contempt charges. However, the agency has previously said that it cannot confirm or deny the existence of FD-1023 forms, as they are classified and contain sensitive information.

What they’re saying: “Comer subpoenaed the document that he has requested. We have jurisdiction over the FBI, which they seem to act like we do not. I personally called Director Wray and told him: He needs to send that document. Today is the deadline,” McCarthy said on Fox News.

  • McCarthy added, “We have jurisdiction over this. He can send us that document. We have the right to look at that. Republicans and Democrats alike in that committee, and if he does not follow through with the law, we will move contempt charges against Christopher Wray and the FBI. They are not above the law.”
  • This is not the first time that Republicans have accused the Biden administration of wrongdoing. In recent weeks, they have criticized the president’s handling of the crisis at the southern border, his proposed infrastructure plan, and his decision to rejoin the Paris climate agreement.
  • The threat of contempt charges against Wray is just the latest example of the ongoing tension between Republicans and Democrats in Congress. With the 2022 midterm elections approaching, it is likely that both parties will continue to use these types of tactics to score political points and energize their base.
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