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GOP furious as FBI continues to stonewall document request that could link Biden to access scheme

By Jimmy Adeel
|
May 21, 2023

Top Republicans have voiced their growing frustration with the FBI for refusing to comply with a subpoena for a document that connects President Joe Biden with a purported “cash-for-access” scheme involving a foreign national.

FBI Director Chris Wray was reminded of the potential “consequences” of non-compliance, a warning made nine days after the deadline for the subpoena had passed, as reported by the Daily Mail.

FBI's Delay and Non-compliance

Leading Republicans have criticized the FBI's delay in submitting the requested document. The subpoena issued by the Republicans demanded the document be submitted by noon on Wednesday, May 10. However, the FBI denied James Comer, the House Oversight Committee Chairman, request for access to sensitive law enforcement materials, according to The Hill.

This refusal led to consternation among Republicans, as some believed these documents would reveal illicit activities involving President Joe Biden from his tenure as vice president. Comer expressed his discontent in a letter to Director Wray, stating, "The FBI's delay in producing a single, unclassified record is unacceptable."

Additionally, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) warned of potential long-term implications for the FBI's credibility due to its persistent non-compliance. "The FBI's credibility is on the line, and their continued failure to cooperate will have long-lasting consequences," he added.

Whistleblower's Allegations and FBI's Missed Deadline

In support of this claim, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Comer referenced a whistleblower who provided startling information about the document. They assert the whistleblower’s account outlines a “criminal scheme” involving then-Vice President Biden and an unnamed foreign national.

The undisclosed document, referred to as an internal FD-1023 form, allegedly describes an “arrangement” for the exchange of funds for policy decisions.

The FBI’s Response and Accommodation Process

In the face of failing to deliver the document by the deadline, the FBI proposed an “accommodation process.” Grassley has stated that this proposal confirms the “document is real.”

The FBI’s response to leading Republicans has, however, raised additional questions, including if there is an ongoing investigation based on these allegations. According to the lawmakers, it remains unclear whether any steps have been taken to investigate the matter, and this ambiguity has sparked concern due to the public’s significant interest in the FBI's response.

Contentions Over the Document's Existence

The FBI, while confirming that it responded to the Republicans, disputed Grassley's claim that its response proves the existence of the specific document alleged by the whistleblower.

A spokesperson stated, "An FD-1023 form is used by FBI agents to record unverified reporting by a confidential human source. Documenting the information does not validate it, establish its credibility, or weigh it against other or possibly incomplete information could harm investigations, prejudice prosecutions or judicial proceedings, unfairly violate privacy or reputations, create misimpressions in public, or potentially identify individuals who provide information to law enforcement, placing their physical safety at risk."

Claims of Political Motivation and Transparency

The subpoena for the document marks a significant update in the Republican “influence-peddling” probe into the Biden family.  Ian Sams, the White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations, has denounced the GOP's subpoena as “unfounded” and “politically motivated.”

Sams asserted that for over five years, Republicans have been launching “unfounded politically-motivated attacks” against President Biden, often without presenting concrete evidence to support their allegations. He further insisted that Biden has been “unprecedented” in his level of transparency, evidenced by the public release of 25 years of his tax returns.

Biden Family and “Shady” Business Deals

The House Oversight Committee, meanwhile, has made claims against ten members of the Biden family, including Hunter and Hallie Biden. The committee alleges they participated in “shady” business transactions, profiting from their family name.

The committee recently issued a new memo outlining the Biden family's supposed ties to Romanian “influence peddling” and an intricate web of LLCs established during Biden's vice presidency.

Accusations of Lack of Transparency and 'Influence Peddling'

President Biden has been accused by the committee of a “lack of transparency” concerning his family's receipt of funds from China, a claim he denies.

According to a committee aide, the memo further details the family's attempts to hide, conceal, and obfuscate sources of income, including additional funds from China.