Kevin McCarthy vows to hold FBI director Wray in contempt

 June 7, 2023

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Ca.) is pledging to hold FBI director Christopher Wray in contempt for snubbing a congressional subpoena relating to the Biden family's corruption.

Republicans have been tut-tutting for days over Wray's refusal to release a memo that allegedly describes a "criminal scheme" involving Biden when he was vice president.

Oversight committee chairman James Comer (Ky.), the House Republicans' top investigator into the Biden family's business deals, has said he will call a contempt vote on Thursday.

McCarthy's threat

The FBI showed the document to Comer and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the ranking member of the Oversight Committee, during a meeting at the Capitol on Monday.

The FBI says this step shows its "commitment to accommodate" Congress, making the contempt threats "unwarranted."

But Republicans say the FBI is out of line.

"Everybody on that committee has the responsibility of oversight,” McCarthy said. “[Wray] needs to supply it to everybody on the committee. If not we will move forward.”

Republicans had previously given Wray a deadline of May 30 to cooperate before facing contempt. Wray then spoke with Comer over the phone and arranged a meeting for Comer to privately view the document.

Out of line

After reviewing the file, Comer said the memo's allegations have been known to the FBI since at least 2017. The memo allegedly describes a $5 million bribe involving then-vice president Biden and a foreign national.

"When we subpoena information there is a reason why. And we expect to get that information,” Comer told Fox News' Hannity. "The House Oversight Committee was created to have oversight over the federal government."

The FBI is certainly acting as if it has authority over Congress, rather than the other way around. As McCarthy noted Tuesday, "that's not how the Constitution works."

"Congress has the constitutional right to oversee and to hold this government accountable. We are lone the voice of the people and we have a right to see it. And look. The FBI now says there's an ongoing investigation," McCarthy added in an interview with Jesse Waters Primetime. 

Concerns have grown for years over the FBI's bias in favor of Democrats like the Bidens, but Republican threats to rein in the agency have tended to fizzle out. Are Republicans finally putting their foot down, or can Wray expect another strongly worded letter?

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