Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, dismissed Republicans’ ongoing investigation into bribery charges against President Joe Biden, which he said is politically motivated.
In an escalating confrontation with the FBI, Republicans on the Oversight Committee led by Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) have demanded access to a document alleging that Biden took a criminal bribe from a foreign national. However, the specific charges listed in the document remain unclear due to the FBI’s apparent reluctance to release the document publicly.
On May 31, Republicans were told by FBI Director Chris Wray that the document exists. Wray offered to let panel members see an unredacted version of the document privately, but Republicans have asked for the document to be released to the full panel.
Comer has threatened to hold Wray in contempt of Congress if these demands aren’t met, a threat House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has echoed.
During a June 4 appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” program, Raskin expressed skepticism about Republicans’ true intentions in the investigation.
“The Republican majority on the committee is getting everything they’re asking for … and yet they’re still talking about holding the director of the FBI in contempt, even though they’re getting exactly what they want, even though the FBI has been overwhelmingly cooperative and accommodating to this request,” Raskin said.
He added, “That demonstrates to me that what they’re really interested in is holding the FBI director in contempt, not in getting a document that [Republicans] say they’ve already seen.”
He accused the majority of “closing out” Democrats and said he’s uncertain about the contents of the document because of this.
“I don’t know what this document is because the majority has closed us, Democrats, out,” Raskin said.
Nevertheless, Raskin said his understanding of the document’s content stems from public reporting, which suggests a connection to Hunter Biden’s business activities in Ukraine.
Raskin cited skepticism expressed by former Attorney General Bill Barr towards these allegations and opined that Republicans are now “going back to recycle these unfounded accusations,” which he dismissed as “allegations that went nowhere.”
Raskin also accused Comer of admitting that these investigations aim to improve Trump’s poll numbers—an assertion echoed by the White House—despite Comer not explicitly stating that as the reason for the investigations.
“They keep changing the demand in order to … find fault with FBI Director Wray,” Raskin said. “Which is why what I say, what they’re really going after is a contempt citation against him, and it’s all part of what Chairman Comer admitted was an effort to get Donald Trump’s poll numbers up.”
The FBI has faced accusations of withholding the document to protect Biden, with some Republicans accusing the agency of politicizing the matter.
The FBI responded by stating its commitment to cooperate in good faith, saying it has made extraordinary accommodations made to meet Comer’s request while maintaining confidentiality and protecting national security interests.
In an emailed response to The Epoch Times, the FBI said that it “remains committed to cooperating with the Committee in good faith,” saying that it has made an “extraordinary accommodation” to meet Comer’s request while complying with confidentiality and national security requirements.
“In a letter to Chairman Comer earlier today, the FBI committed to providing access to information responsive to the Committee’s subpoena in a format and setting that maintains confidentiality and protects important security interests and the integrity of FBI investigations,” a spokesperson said.
“Last week, Director Wray scheduled a telephone call for tomorrow to provide additional details of the FBI’s extraordinary accommodation to satisfy the subpoena request.”
The agency dismissed calls to hold Wray in contempt, saying, “Any discussion of escalation under these circumstances is unnecessary.”
The comments come amid an escalating confrontation between Comer and Wray over the document’s release.
Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) had previously received whistleblower disclosures regarding the alleged criminal scheme involving Biden and a foreign national. Comer set a deadline for Wray to produce the document, which was missed, leading to threats of contempt charges.
The investigation has been contentious, with the White House criticizing it as a politically motivated “silly charade” aimed at tarnishing the president’s reputation.
Although the exact charges against Biden remain unclear due to the document’s lack of public availability, Republicans have long sought to uncover possible ethical concerns related to the Biden family’s business dealings.
Previous reports revealed emails suggesting Joe Biden’s knowledge of and involvement in Hunter Biden’s business ventures, including his ties to the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, undercutting the president’s claims that he had no knowledge of these exchanges.
Former business associates of Hunter Biden’s have said that the elder Biden was indeed involved, including during the period he served as vice president, and received a financial cut from the dealings.
If the document is released and substantiated, it could provide a more solid backing to these investigations and could prompt Republicans to take further legal action against the president.