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House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) said “over 50 percent” of a new form regarding allegations about President Joe Biden’s family business dealings and potential bribes was redacted.
The FD-1023 form is a type of document used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recording allegations about potential criminal activity from the FBI’s confidential human sources.
Evidence unearthed through an earlier FD-1023 submitted by a trusted FBI informant alleges that the president accepted at least $5 million as a bribe from a foreign national. Still, more recent allegations put that figure to at least $10 million, partly through the use of shell companies.
Republicans are investigating the matter amid concerns that Biden may have used his influence while vice president to assist his family’s business dealings, primarily those of his son Hunter Biden.
On June 20, Comer announced that he would go to the House sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF)—a portion of the House complex set aside for the protection of classified documents and materials, despite the FD-1023 form purportedly having been unclassified—to see another FD-1023 form relating to the allegations against Biden and his family.
“Have you got any questions over the documents you saw today?” a reporter asked Comer as he emerged from the SCIF.
“Well, I would say over 50 percent of the documents were redacted,” Comer replied. “So there really wasn’t anything to talk about. Over 50 percent redacted. All I know is it mentioned Hunter Biden, Burisma. And there was some type of investigation with respect to fraud taking place, but there was so much redacted, you really couldn’t tell anything from the 1023.”
Comer expressed concerns that federal law enforcement was still holding back information from Republicans, noting that the earlier FD-1023 form referenced others dated 2018. But the document he saw today, Comer said, was dated 2017, meaning other FD-1023s related to the allegations remain hidden.
“So the only question that I asked was, ‘Where was the one in 2018?’ And they ask, ‘What are you talking about?’”
The FBI reportedly told Comer that there were no forms from 2018 but said they would look into the matter.
He added that while he and the top Democrat on the panel, Ranking Member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), were given a briefing on the first document, “We didn’t get a briefing today … And the two documents were so heavily redacted, I had nothing really to say. I’ll answer a few questions, but there’s nothing to say because they were so redacted.”
FD-1023 forms have been at the forefront of a continuing feud between Comer and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Initially, Wray refused to let Congress see the document—discovered through a whistleblower report made to Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
According to the lawmakers, the unclassified form “describes an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money-for-policy decisions.
After Wray failed to meet deadline after deadline to turn over the document, Comer seemed poised to initiate contempt of Congress proceedings against the FBI chief. Facing this threat, Wray acceded, allowing Comer and Raskin to view the document in the House SCIF. Later, the full Oversight panel was given access to the document.
Comer was asked by The Epoch Times if he would consider re-initiating contempt proceedings over the 2018 document if it were not produced.
“We’re waiting to hear back on the 1023 form dated 2018,” Comer said noncommittally about restarting contempt proceedings, which he had dropped after being given access to the original FD-1023.
“The two that we looked at today were so heavily redacted, and look, they’re gonna have to do better than that,” he said.
“I’m going in the SCIF to look at an unclassified document that’s over 50 percent redacted, so it really doesn’t matter. What part is redacted? Is it about Joe Biden … is that the part that’s redacted? I don’t know.”
Raskin Dismisses Document, Claims Political Motives
Raskin, Comer’s Democratic analog on the panel who on June 20 viewed the updated document with Comer, dismissed the contents of the document as “non-relevant” and repeated his position that the investigation is political.
Raskin said that rather than being a serious investigation, Republicans were using the allegations to shield President Donald Trump, who is currently facing criminal charges in both Manhattan and at the federal level.
Raskin said that in the original FD-1023, the agent—who Republicans say is one of the FBI’s most trusted confidential informants—”quoted double hearsay from a Ukrainian oligarch, who told him [the agent] that there was some kind of corruption scheme involving the Bidens.”
Much of the allegations surrounding the Bidens have concentrated on the role Hunter Biden played in business dealings with a Ukrainian energy firm called Burisma. Biden has publicly admitted to using his influence as vice president to have a Ukrainian prosecutor looking into the firm fired, at risk of the United States withholding a $1 billion loan guarantee.
But Raskin reiterated the contention that Attorney General Bill Barr placed U.S. Attorney Scott Brady in charge of the investigation. Raskin says that Brady determined that the charges were un-substantive, and the case was dropped.
However, this conflicts with the account given by Barr, who told The Epoch Times that the investigation was ongoing when he left office.
Nevertheless, Raskin has insisted that this is not the case, saying “There’s nothing in there that even remotely touches on the corruption allegations.”
Raskin said, “These are even further afield [than the earlier FD-1023]. They don’t relate to the corruption allegations.
“There’s one mention of the Biden’s in which the confidential human source says that there was a brief non-relevant mention of Hunter Biden as a member of the Board of Burisma and identifying him as the son of Joe Biden.”
But Raskin said this comment was “[not] relevant to what these documents were about.”
Comer replied to this comment: “The focus of our investigation is Joe Biden and trying to determine what role he played in the millions of dollars that his family took from foreign nationals that was laundered through shell companies into various Biden family accounts. That’s what we want to know. What role did he play? And is our president compromised because of the millions of billions of dollars that his family received from foreign nationals?”
The document’s contents remain unknown to the public, except through public reporting from panel members like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.).