I’ll give you the good news first: FBI Director Christopher Wray did show up on Capitol Hill on Monday as scheduled, and he had the “Form 1023” that House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer had subpoenaed.
Now the bad and totally unsurprising news: He still refused to turn it over to the Committee. Only Comer, as chairman, and Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, invited by the FBI (???) to join him as the Democrat ranking member, were allowed to view it in a SCIF, or secure room. Comer was limited to note-taking. Also, as it turns out, they didn’t get to see/take notes on the full document. Touching on one of Comer’s biggest concerns, part of the document had indeed been classified, as they were told during a briefing, and it’s not clear if even Comer and Raskin were allowed to see the “classified” parts. So now Comer says he’ll start hearings on Thursday to hold Wray in contempt of Congress.
This leaves us with new questions: When were the so-called classified” parts of the document designated as classified? Before or after the whistleblower was known to have spoken to Congress about it? Before or after it was subpoenaed? And how high a level of classification does this material carry? So high that even Comer, as Oversight Committee chair, doesn’t have a high enough security clearance to view it? Comer has said he’d already seen the document; did he see the parts that are now classified?
Reporters, too, had questions for Comer after the briefing was over. One asked, “Why do you need the document at hand? You just got a chance to view it --- why move forward with contempt when the FBI says they’re cooperating in good faith?”
“Good faith”? Comer replied that the White House is already calling the document “without merit,” “crazy” and a “conspiracy theory,” adding, “I’m supposed to take the FBI’s word that they’re investigating this?”
One major take-away: the FBI did NOT disprove or discredit the document. What Jamie Raskin calls an “unverified tip sheet” is actually the product of a highly trusted confidential source who had been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the FBI for his extremely reliable information.
Bonchie says that the contempt charge won’t have legal ramifications because Biden’s DOJ will never press charges, but that it “could help provide grounds for obtaining the FD-1023 form.” It also “helps get the overall story about Biden’s alleged corruption and criminality out in the open.” He says the battle is about to heat up.
Comer offered some interesting updates Thursday night. He told Sean Hannity that even though the date on the document was dated June 2020, there were notes in it that went back to 2017. That leads him to believe that the FBI’s confidential human source (CHS) initially informed them of the bribery scheme in 2017. His question to the FBI was, given that this CHS is one of their most highly credible, “What exactly have you done with this accusation?”
Their answer to him was that this is part of an ongoing investigation --- that’s what they say when they want to keep a lid on something. They won’t give him any details on what investigation it is, when it began, nothing at all. It seems clear that Comer is over the target.
Comer said that by holding Wray in contempt, Congress is “setting an example. When we subpoena information, there’s a reason why, and we expect to get that information...we have these federal bureaucracies that think they’re immune to oversight. So we’re following the money...What the human informant alleged on the FBI form is exactly the same as what we saw in Romania.”
He went on to paraphrase part of that document: “It specifically detailed allegations that the bribe would be made in a way that would be very difficult to find, that they would use various bank accounts and various shell companies.”
Yes, this quote from Comer strongly suggests that the country allegedly paying the bribe was Romania. But according to a FOX NEWS source, it was a “new country” we haven’t heard about --- not China, Ukraine, Russia or Romania. So there’s something else to be cleared up.
As for the document being partially classified and purportedly being used in an ongoing FBI investigation to keep it under wraps, legal analyst Margot Cleveland has already offered her take. She says the real focus regarding this document is not so much the bribery allegation itself but what, if anything, the FBI did to investigate it, given that the CHS was so highly credible. She sees Wray continuing to fight Sen. Grassley and the oversight committees “every step of the way” to prevent them from revealing this.
“America can survive selective injustices,” she says, “but it cannot withstand a corrupt bureaucracy that obstructs justice and interferes with elections.”
And if they did bury this allegation, it certainly is another example of election interference. The whistleblower who came forward about this document told the Oversight Committee that FBI headquarters had closed it out even though some of the details had been verified and others could have been. “Not only does this evidence suggest FBI headquarters obstructed justice,” Cleveland says, “but the date of the CHS’s report [June 30, 2020] indicates those responsible for misbranding the intel as disinformation sought to interfere with the 2020 election.”
Cleveland contrasts this with what happened after the FBI got “a vague tip from an Australian diplomat of unknown veracity that a low-level Trump volunteer had claimed the Russians possessed dirt on Hillary Clinton.” Within days, they had opened “Crossfire Hurricane” against the Trump campaign.
“I have a message for Chris Wray,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said last night. “...Chris is not a left-wing partisan; he’s a ‘company man.’ He believes that he’s protecting the FBI by circling the wagons. Let me tell you something, Chris. The FBI works for the American people. The American people have a right to have accountability, to know, is there evidence that Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., the President of the United States, was personally involved in bribery from a foreign nation? Don’t correct the career partisans at DOJ. Instead, put the public good above parochial concerns. The American people deserve to know, what is the evidence that Joe Biden was personally involved with bribery?”
I would reiterate that we deserve to see the document. This CHS was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars of our money to give them information. We paid for it. Let’s see it.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
From Newt Gingrich, on Trump “likely” being indicted by AG Merrick Garland just as we’re learning the depth of Biden corruption:
“You see this in Venezuela, you see this in Zimbabwe, you see this in Cuba. But to see it in America...Remember, John Mitchell’s the only other attorney general ever to go to jail. It was for obstruction of justice. And I think the current attorney general is very close to that same problem, and the current director of the FBI is equally close.”
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