House GOP reaches compromise with FBI over Joe Biden document, averting contempt vote

WASHINGTON – House Republicans averted a vote to hold the FBI in contempt by reaching an agreement Wednesday to allow all members of a key committee to review an investigative document related to President Joe Biden.

Rep. James Comer, head of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, threatened a contempt vote Thursday after he got access to the document Monday and an FBI briefing about it because the rest of the committee didn't have access, too.

The compromise reached late Wednesday calls for all members of the committee to be able to review the document, called an FD-1023, and two other documents mentioned in it. Comer canceled the contempt vote.

“Allowing all Oversight Committee members to review this record is an important step toward conducting oversight of the FBI and holding it accountable to the American people,” said Comer, R-Ky.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 08: House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., questions witnesses during the first public hearing of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 08, 2023 in Washington, DC.

The top Democrat on the panel, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, who joined Comer in reading the document and receiving the briefing, said the FBI offered further accommodations in the spirit of good faith.

The document, which contains information from a confidential source including some that is unverified, alleges that Biden was involved in a $5 million bribery scheme, according to Comer.

Former President Donald Trump’s attorney general, Bill Barr, assigned a Trump-appointed U.S. attorney, Scott Brady, to review the allegations in 2020.

Raskin said the allegations were debunked and result of the assessment was “the Trump Justice Department concluded that the evidence failed to justify further inquiry.”

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Ian Sams, a White House spokesperson, said Comer and his Republican colleagues “torpedoed their credibility by repeatedly failing to deliver on much-hyped allegations.”

“Their fact-free wild goose chase continues to be a waste of taxpayer resources when House Republicans should instead be focusing on real issues American families care about,” Sams said.

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But Comer said the investigation has continued under the U.S. attorney in Delaware and that lawmakers would continue to review it.

“Let’s be clear: the allegations contained within this record are not closed as the White House and Democrats would have the American people believe,” Comer said. “The Oversight Committee will continue to follow the facts and ensure accountability for the American people.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: House GOP averts contempt vote on FBI in reviewing Joe Biden document