WEAPONIZATION: GOP threatens FBI director with contempt charges

WEAPONIZATION: GOP threatens FBI director with contempt charges

Congressional Republicans are desperate to manufacture dirt on the President of the United States — and they don’t care if they damage the FBI in the process.

Representative James Comer (R-KY), in his capacity as Chair of the Oversight Committee, sent a subpoena to the FBI for documents mentioning the name “Biden” in June of 2020.

They’re stretching to support their claims that the president was involved in influence-peddling, though they’ve been unable to produce a shred of evidence for it.

The FBI is refusing to cooperate with the scheme and has explained that, first, search terms were too broad, and then, when they were narrowed down, they produced a record called an FD-1023.

Officials have explained that this document does not provide any verification of claims made in it, it only reports that someone made the statement to the FBI.

However, there are documents that cannot be released for a number of reasons, including protecting sources, keeping methods of collecting information confidential, and maintaining the integrity of ongoing investigations.

However, instead of accepting that the FBI can’t provide this document for their smearing scheme, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is threatening to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress. CNN reported:

“‘It is critical to the integrity of the entire criminal justice process and to the fulfillment of our law enforcement duties that FBI avoid revealing information — including unverified or incomplete information — that could harm investigations, prejudice prosecutions or judicial proceedings, unfairly violate privacy or reputational interests, or create misimpressions in the public,’ [Christopher Dunham, acting assistant director for the FBI’s office of congressional affairs explained in a letter to Rep. Comer].”

Comer responded by calling the decision “obstructionist” and amplifying a warning from Senator Chuck Grassley that the Committee will “get it one way or the other,” in a press release.

Now, as seen in the video clip below, McCarthy is making threats of contempt of Congress charges.

Typically, when Congress decides to hold someone in contempt, the charge then goes through either the Department of Justice as a criminal complaint, or the court system as a civil one, but there is a less-used option by which the legislative body could coerce compliance on its own. According to FindLaw:

“The offender, after being cited for contempt of Congress, is tried on the floor of the chamber of Congress invoking the power. If a majority affirms the contempt charge, they may instruct the Sergeant at Arms to arrest the offender and detain them until they comply with the subpoena or until the end of the session. Given the extraordinary nature of congressional detention and its lack of constitutional clarity, it’s often seen as a last-ditch — and unlikely — effort.”

This tactic hasn’t been used in nearly a century and is not explicitly named as a Congressional power in any statute or the Constitution, but House Republicans must know that neither the DOJ nor the courts will be likely to help them in their extrajudicial and speculative efforts to smear the sitting president, so it’s an extreme to which they could — hypothetically — go.

Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.

Stephanie Bazzle

Steph Bazzle is a news writer who covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph. Sign up for all of her stories to be delivered to your inbox here: