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Biden Bribe Allegation ‘Has Not Been Disproven’: James Comer

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WASHINGTON ― The FBI privately briefed lawmakers Monday about an unverified tip the bureau received in 2020 that Joe Biden had been involved in a bribery scheme when he was vice president.

Republicans have said the source of the allegation is highly credible while admitting they don’t know whether it’s true or not.

House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) declared after the briefing on Monday that the FBI had not determined the allegation to be untrue, though he didn’t say it had found the tip credible, either.

“Today, FBI officials confirmed that the unclassified FBI-generated record has not been disproven and is currently being used in an ongoing investigation,” Comer told reporters after a briefing in a Capitol basement.

But Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the committee, said he learned from the briefing that the Justice Department under President Donald Trump looked into the tip and found that it wasn’t worth a full investigation.

“They decided there was no grounds to escalate this up the investigative-prosecutorial chain,” Raskin said. “If there’s a complaint, the complaint is with Attorney General William Barr, the Trump Justice Department and the team that the Trump administration appointed to look into it.”

In 2020, Barr said the Justice Department was looking into material that former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani had gathered from Ukraine in an effort to find dirt on Biden. Barr said at the time that “we can’t take anything we received from Ukraine at face value.” No charges resulted from the Giuliani material, though it may have sparked an investigation into Hunter Biden in addition to one led by federal prosecutors in Delaware.

Comer has previously said the tip, delivered to the FBI in June 2020, reflected a “very credible” allegation that Biden had something to do with a $5 million bribe involving a foreign national. The allegation has emerged as a key to Comer’s quest to tie Biden himself to the “influence peddling” of his family members, whom Comer has said received millions in sketchy payments from foreign sources.

Comer refused the DOJ’s initial offer to let lawmakers see the document at FBI headquarters, but then agreed to take a look after the FBI offered to bring it over to the Capitol.

Even though the FBI showed them the document on Monday, Comer said Republicans would still initiate contempt proceedings against FBI Director Christopher Wray because they weren’t allowed to keep a copy.

“At the briefing, the FBI again refused to hand over the unclassified record to the custody of the House Oversight Committee, and we will now initiate contempt of Congress hearings this Thursday,” Comer said.

Asked why he needed his own copy of the form, Comer complained that press accounts of the dispute emphasized that the allegation remains unverified. He stressed that the FBI’s source is highly credible and suggested reporters ought to describe the allegations that way.

“Remember, the main reason they’re not wanting to make this public is because they’re concerned about the source,” Comer said, without explaining why it should be made public anyway.

Raskin stressed that the source himself couldn’t vouch for the incriminating tip.

“What we’re talking about here is a confidential human source reporting a conversation with someone else,” Raskin said. “What we’re talking about is secondhand hearsay.”

The DOJ has maintained that the document reflects unverified claims collected by a line FBI agent, that the form itself lacks context and that disclosing the information could compromise confidential sources and investigations.

Somehow, Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have previously seen the document, the two said last week. Grassley has repeatedly said he didn’t know if the allegations were true, just that he wanted the Justice Department to say whether it had investigated.

“We are not interested in whether the allegations against Vice President Biden are accurate or not,” Grassley told Fox News last week. “We’re responsible for making sure the FBI does its job, and that’s what we want to know.”



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