Comer says alleged Biden bribe was $5M, threatens FBI with contempt
James Comer claims that an FBI informant file he is seeking links President Biden with a $5,000,000 bribery plot while he served as vice president.
Comer (R. Ky.) revealed for the first in a letter sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday the amount of the alleged payment. He threatened him with contempt proceedings should he not share the file as per a subpoena issued on May 3.
Comer wrote that the informant tip was dated June 30 2020 — a clue to the mystery allegation that had triggered a guessing match due to the extensive consulting work the Bidens did in countries where then-VP Biden held power.
On June 13, 2020, Ukrainian officials held in Kyiv a press event — 17 days prior to the FBI tip-off — at which they displayed $5 million in cash that was allegedly paid as a bribe in order to stop an investigation into Mykola Zlochevsky, founder of Burisma Natural Gas Company.
Burisma employed Hunter Biden, the first son of Vice President Biden, from 2014 until 2019. An executive from the company met him at a dinner on April 16, 2015.
The money seized by Ukrainian officials was in $100 American bills, which were displayed. This is the same amount as Joe Biden’s alleged receipt.
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine stated at the time, that three Kyiv officials, including an active and former tax official were arrested, and that a $1 million additional payment was made to an office holder who worked as a middleman.
Reuters reported that Nazar Kholodnytsky, the Ukrainian anti-corruption prosecution prosecutor, said during a press conference “Biden Jr. & Biden Sr. don’t appear in this proceeding”, at the time.
Comer’s note states that the FBI document accusing Joe Biden was “created” or “modified” two-and-a half weeks later.
The Oversight Committee did not confirm the country in which Biden was alleged to have accepted the bribe while vice president. However, a source told The Post previously that it is believed the allegation does not relate to China, where Biden’s family had two lucrative businesses, focusing on other nations like Russia and Ukraine.
If the bribery involves Burisma, it’s unclear which US policy decisions Biden would have made or could make in exchange for cash.
Biden is alleged to have pushed US support for natural gas in Ukraine just days after his son Hunter joined secretly the board of Burisma. Former White House stenographer Mike McCormick has tried — unsuccessfully — to reach Delaware US Attorney David Weiss to testify before a grand jury that’s investigating the first-born for tax fraud and illegal foreign lobbying, among other crimes.
The elder Biden, as vice president, also used US assistance to pressure Ukraine to fire the prosecutor who investigated Burisma. However, House Democrats — who impeached Donald Trump in 2019, for pressuring Ukraine to investigate both Bidens, presented evidence at Trump’s trial that US ally’s also advocated the prosecutor’s removal due to his corruption.
Hunter Biden made up to $1,000,000 per year as a member of Burisma’s board, despite having no experience in the relevant industry.
After a whistleblower alerted Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa), Comer issued a legally binding subpoena requesting the informant’s file.
The FBI refused on May 10 to release the file, citing concerns over informant confidentiality and the possibility that the tips were not verified.
The chairman of the committee says that FBI officials have given staffers patronizing briefings at subsequent meetings.
Comer wrote that “whistleblower disclosures” indicated the FBI and Department of Justice were in possession of a FD-1023 document describing a criminal scheme involving Vice President Biden at the time and a foreigner relating to an exchange of money for decisions.
“The FBI’s failure to produce this document is obstructionist.” To narrow the scope of the subpoena we have added two additional terms based upon unclassified and legally-protected whistleblower disclosures which may be referred to in the FD-1023: “June 30, 2020” and “five million,” he said.
These terms refer to the date of the FD-1023 and the reference to the amount the foreign national allegedly spent to obtain the desired outcome.
Comer warned Wray that the deadline for Wray’s response to the subpoena was May 30, 2023. If the FD-1023 is not submitted by this date, the Committee may initiate contempt proceedings against you.
The purpose of a congressional contempt vote is to embarrass the offender, but it may also result in criminal sanctions. In 2012, the then-Attorney-General Eric Holder was found in criminal contempt by the House for refusing documents in the “Fast and Furious’ gun-running scandal. Holder’s Justice Department, however, chose not to prosecute its own leader. As a result, Holder faced no criminal penalties.
The FBI told The Post on Thursday that its mission was to protect Americans. “Releasing source information that is confidential could jeopardize an investigation and put lives in danger.” As always, the FBI is committed to working with Congress on oversight requests in this and other matters.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to The Post requests for comments.