James Comer is a hero.
It would be a lot easier for him to let sleeping dogs lie when it comes to the Biden family corruption scandal and the even bigger scandal of the subsequent FBI/CIA coverup which kept American voters in the dark about one of the two presidential candidates in the 2020 election.
But with the backing of Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Comer is right over the target with his House Oversight Committee investigations, and his confrontation with the FBI is both necessary and courageous.
The FBI has become a law unto itself.
Director Christopher Wray has been thumbing his nose at congressional oversight in a way that demands reprimand, which is exactly what Comer is delivering.
On Wednesday Comer introduced a resolution to hold Wray in contempt of Congress for his refusal to hand over an FBI document, a Form FD-1023, in which was recorded allegations, from a long-term trusted, paid confidential FBI source, that Joe Biden was allegedly paid a $5 million bribe by someone in Ukraine while he was vice president.
“Americans have lost trust in the FBI’s ability to enforce the law impartially and demand accountability,” Comer declared.
The White House, Democrats and allied media outlets have tried to spin the document as a conspiracy theory seeded by Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s former lawyer.
But Comer says: “This form 1023 has nothing to do with Rudy Giuliani.”
He alleges that the FBI failed to properly investigate the allegations, despite their seriousness.
“This claim was made by one of the FBI’s most credible paid informants and no one looks into it?” Comer told The Post.
“It’s hard to believe. They automatically labeled it disinformation.”
On Monday morning, Comer’s pugnaciousness resulted in Wray partly conceding defeat.
Initially Wray had told Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley that no such FD-1023 document existed.
Then, after the two Republicans told Wray that they had already seen the document, thanks to a whistleblower, he admitted its existence.
Finally, a month after Comer’s subpoena for the document, he and Democratic counterpart Rep. Jamie Raskin, and a number of staff, were given access to the FD-1023 for a little over an hour in a secure room on Capitol Hill.
They were not allowed to take notes or make copies of the document, a situation Comer says is untenable.
The FBI is claiming concerns that the informant’s life will be at risk if they release the document, but Comer has agreed to redact all identifying information.
He wants to know what the FBI did, if anything, to properly investigate the allegations in the FD-1023.
He wants to know if the FD-1023 was discredited as Russian disinformation and buried in an inaccessible file by someone at FBI headquarters in Washington, along with other information derogatory to Joe Biden, as a whistleblower has told Grassley.
Feds swoop in
Before Comer could see the FD-1023 Monday, four senior FBI officials, including at least one from the National Security division, delivered a 30-minute briefing to provide context and narrative.
At least one element of that briefing appears to have been misleading, according to someone who was there.
The FBI narrative began on Jan. 29, 2020, when Rudy Giuliani and his lawyer Bob Costello flew to Pittsburgh to meet with Scott Brady, the US Attorney for the Western district of Pennsylvania, with a file of allegations from Ukrainians alleging Biden family corruption.
An assessment was opened, the lowest level of FBI investigation, and the FBI databases turned up confidential reporting from 2017 from the trusted informant which was relevant to the Giuliani material.
The informant was then reinterviewed at the end of June 2020.
The contents of that interview were memorialized in the FD-1023 form that Comer has subpoenaed.
On Monday Comer and Raskin were told by their FBI briefers falsely that the FD-1023 was “closed out” in August 2020, a point which Raskin used in a subsequent press conference to claim that then Attorney General William Barr and Brady had assessed the allegations against Mr. Biden, found them groundless, and closed the assessment.
But Barr since has come forward to say that the assessment was never closed, but instead was referred to the US Attorney in Delaware, who had been investigating Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings since 2018.
Furthermore, the FBI briefers told Comer and Raskin four times that the FD-1023 was still being used in “an ongoing investigation”, which Comer assumes is in Delaware.
Raskin told reporters he couldn’t remember that part of the briefing, despite it being repeated four times.
“The FBI is attempting a coverup right before our eyes and Democrats are doing their bidding by lying,” asserts Comer.
He is playing hardball, in a way we haven’t seen from Republicans for a while.
‘Take the FBI’s word?’
As he asked a skeptical reporter rhetorically at his press conference after viewing the bombshell FD-1023: “I’m supposed to take the FBI’s word that they’re investigating this?”
The FBI needs to be seen as acting in an honest nonpartisan way instead of as Joe Biden’s personal Stasi.
After its involvement in the farcical Russia hoax and its coercion of Twitter and Facebook to censor The Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story before the 2020 election, nobody trusts the FBI not to keep lying to protect itself.
A new Rasmussen poll shows that 60% of voters suspect FBI officials tried to cover up the scandal involving President Biden and his family, including 48% who think it’s “Very Likely.”
Republicans (85%) and independents (57%) are more likely to suspect a coverup than Democrats (39%).
Comer has the majority of America on his side and that’s a lot of power.
Climate smoke & mirrors
While New Yorkers have become inured to the pungent smell of cannabis smoke wafting through the streets, the Canadian wildfire smoke currently turning the sky orange is taking our tolerance to new levels.
By Wednesday we were registering the worse air pollution of any major city in the world and COVID mask maniacs were back in their element.
But don’t fall for the propaganda that climate change is to blame.
The situation in Canada is similar to that in Australia, where green ideology and chronic government underfunding mean that the forests currently ablaze have not been managed properly for years.
Instead of dead wood and undergrowth being removed regularly using low-intensity controlled or “prescribed” burns, forests have become overgrown tinderboxes.
Fire trails that used to allow first responders easy access to the forest have closed over as vast tracts of land are locked away from humans.
Logging and other commercial practices that used to self-interestedly tend to forest health have been phased out.
Back in 2016 when Parks Canada had planned just 12 prescribed burns for the year, Mark Heathcott, the agency’s retired fire management coordinator of 23 years, warned about the importance of the practice to prevent future wildfires.
In 2020, a paper in the journal Progress in Disaster Science warned: “Wildfire management agencies in Canada are at a tipping point. Presuppression and suppression costs are increasing but program budgets are not.”
Canadian indigenous groups also have complained that bureaucratic obstacles hinder their ability to perform the controlled burns they have used for centuries to reduce fuel load, flush out food and regenerate forests.
But in our enlightened era, pressure from green activists using illogical emotional arguments about wildlife habitats have caused governments to underfund and curtail the scientific use of prescribed burning to mitigate wildfire risk.
The ensuing incineration of forests and critters by super-hot runaway wildfires is infinitely worse for wildlife habitats.
But for climate alarmists, the assault on New Yorkers air quality is a positive outcome that they can spin to prove their case.
They’re like the arsonist who sets fire to a building and then profits from the clean-up.