Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) are demanding a document from the FBI they say outlines an unverified and unspecified “alleged criminal scheme” involving a foreign national and President Biden when he was vice president.
Comer on Wednesday subpoenaed the FBI for the document, marking an escalation in Republicans’ investigation of Biden himself after largely focusing on the foreign business activities of his son Hunter Biden and other family members and associates.
The subpoena was released publicly alongside a letter from the Oversight chairman and Grassley to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland that gave a broad overview of the claims.
The two Republicans do not directly accuse the president of participating in a criminal scheme and describe the allegations that they think the FBI is aware of in broad terms with no details.
In the letter to the FBI and Justice Department (DOJ) heads, the two Republicans said that based on whistleblower disclosures, they believe the FBI has possession of an unclassified FD-1023 document detailing an “alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions.”
The FBI uses FD-1023 forms to document information that the FBI obtains from sources or meetings with sources and can include unverified information.
“What we don’t know is what, if anything, the FBI has done to verify these claims or investigate further,” Grassley, who has long investigated the Biden family in the Senate, said in a statement.
Asked Wednesday on Fox News whether the document had to do with Biden family business dealings in Ukraine or China, or some other matter, Grassley said: “I guess basically we’ve got to wait to see what the document exactly says.”
Grassley later added on Fox News that he sees a request to the State Department for documents regarding Hunter Biden’s business dealings as a “separate issue.”
Grassley and Comer wrote in the letter that they are concerned that the FBI and DOJ did not take the appropriate steps to evaluate the allegations — saying that the agencies have allowed “political bias to infect their decision-making process.”
The subpoena asks for all FD-1023 forms containing the word “Biden” that were created or modified in June 2020 — when former President Trump was in office and Bill Barr was attorney general.
In a statement, Comer said that the whistleblower’s information “raises concerns that then-Vice President Biden allegedly engaged in a bribery scheme with a foreign national.”
The White House dismissed the Republicans’ probe and concerns about the unspecified allegations.
“For going on five years now, Republicans in Congress have been lobbing unfounded, unproven, politically-motivated attacks against the President and his family without offering evidence for their claims or evidence of decisions influenced by anything other than U.S. interests. That’s because they prefer floating anonymous innuendo, amplified by the megaphone of their allies in rightwing media, to get attention and try to distract and deflect from their own unpopular ideas and lack of solutions to the issues the American people actually care about,” Ian Sams, White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations, said in a statement.
“When it comes to President Biden’s personal finances, anybody can take a look: he has offered an unprecedented level of transparency, releasing a total of 25 years of tax returns to the American public,” Sams added.
The FBI said it received the letter and the subpoena, and the DOJ said it received the letter but declined to comment further.
House Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) criticized the Republican subpoena in a statement, calling it a “partisan stunt.”
“Committee Republicans are recycling unsubstantiated claims floated by Senate Republicans by issuing a subpoena to the FBI to require the release of a June 2020 tip from an unknown informant,” Raskin said. “During this same time period, Rudy Giuliani and Russian agents, sanctioned by Trump’s Treasury Department, were peddling disinformation aimed at interfering in the 2020 presidential election. Given Chair Comer’s commitment to ‘dismantle’ the FBI, it’s no surprise that he would rely on these unverified tips to attack President Biden in one more baseless partisan stunt.”
— Updated at 8:58 p.m.