Does that FBI document show that Joe Biden engaged in bribery?: The chairman and ranking member of the House Oversight Committee were able to see the controversial document on Monday. But what exactly does it show?
Joe Biden and the Bribery Questions…
On Monday, Rep. James Comer (R-KY) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the chairman and ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, visited a secure room in the U.S. Capitol in order to view an FD-1023 document.
While Comer and Raskin were allowed to see the document, the FBI did not “hand over” the document, which had been subpoenaed by the committee. This has led Comer to threaten FBI Director Christopher Wray with charges of contempt of Congress.
Per The Hill, Comer and Raskin differ in their conclusions about the document, including whether the document is part of any ongoing investigation.
“At the briefing, the FBI again refused to hand over the unclassified record to the custody of the House Oversight Committee, and we will now initiate contempt of Congress hearings this Thursday,” Comer said Monday, per CNN.
The FBI responded Monday.
“The FBI has continually demonstrated its commitment to accommodate the committee’s request, including by producing the document in a reading room at the U.S. Capitol,” the FBI said in a statement to CNN. “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.”
From what is out there in the public record, it shows that the accusation has been made against Joe Biden, but not that the accusation is necessarily true.
CNN had reported that the document surfaced years ago, when Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani was sharing information with the Trump-era Justice Department.
Per Raskin, a look at this evidence during the Trump Administration showed that an investigation was not warranted. He also said that the document involved Ukraine.
“The FBI and Department of Justice under Attorney General Barr and Scott Brady terminated the investigation. They said there were no grounds for further investigative steps,” Raskin said Monday, according to CNN. “My understanding is there is an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden relating to gun charges and one or two other things taking place in Delaware. But I don’t know of any connection between that criminal investigation and the document that we saw today.”
Raskin also seemed skeptical of the information in the document.
“What we’re talking about here is a confidential human source reporting a conversation with someone else. So we’re talking about is secondhand hearsay,” Raskin told reporters, per the Hill, adding that the witness “had no way of knowing about the underlying veracity of the things that he was being told.”
In a Fox News interview last weekend, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) was up front: “We aren’t interested in whether the accusations against Vice President Biden are accurate or not.” Grassley, along with Comer, had been the author of a letter asking for the FBI to make the document available to them.
When asked how damning the document was, Grassley answered, “Let’s put it this way, there are accusations in it.”
Meanwhile, Oversight Committee member Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), in a Twitter video, appeared to believe that the document actually proved Biden engaged in bribery.
“The FBI & DOJ knew Biden was abusing his power and did NOTHING!,” the congresswoman said in the tweet. “Do our laws even matter anymore?”
“This is ridiculous,” journalist James Surowiecki said of Greene’s comments. “The ‘FD-1023’ form contains unverified allegations. Saying ‘it’s real’ just means that someone made unproven allegations. It does not mean, as MTG implies here, that those allegations are true, let alone that the FBI knows they’re true.”
Expertise and Experience:
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.