NATIONAL NEWS

House Republicans pull back contempt charge against FBI director Wray over Biden doc

Jun 7, 2023, 7:11 PM

House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chair James Comer, R-Ky., speaks to reporters after he...

House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chair James Comer, R-Ky., speaks to reporters after he and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the ranking member of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, met with FBI officials to view confidential documents Comer demanded in his investigation of President Joe Biden's family, Monday, June 5, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday called off a vote on a contempt of Congress charge against FBI Director Christopher Wray, accepting a last-minute offer by the bureau to allow the full committee access to a confidential document of an unverified tip about President Joe Biden.

Rep. James Comer said in a statement that the committee is removing a contempt resolution against Wray from Thursday’s schedule after receiving an accommodation that would give the full committee access to the document.

“Allowing all Oversight Committee members to review this record is an important step toward conducting oversight of the FBI and holding it accountable to the American people,” the Kentucky Republican said.

The action that played out over the last month against Wray reflects a larger breakdown between Republicans and the FBI that has only intensified this year, with some conservatives talking openly about trying to defund the bureau. It’s a rift that first opened during the Russia investigation of then-President Donald Trump and has only widened amid the FBI’s wide-ranging criminal investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol, which some Republicans view as overly zealous and politicized.

The FBI made the last-ditch effort to ward off the contempt vote Wednesday, offering to give every lawmaker on the oversight committee access to a redacted version of a confidential document that alleges a bribery scheme involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and a foreign national. That’s according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

It was unclear until late Wednesday if Comer would accept the offer even as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said that would suffice.

The FBI has called the contempt vote unwarranted considering the bureau had “continuously demonstrated its commitment to accommodate the committee’s request,” while protecting the safety of sources and the integrity of ongoing investigations.

But Comer has consistently said that the only way for the FBI to comply with the subpoena is to provide an unredacted copy of the document.

FBI officials already showed a redacted version of the several-page form to Comer and Rep. Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the committee, during a 90-minute briefing Monday. The bureau described that briefing as an “extraordinary accommodation” where both men were able to take notes on the document and ask questions.

National News

Associated Press

Netanyahu visit sparks wave of protests in DC, with all sides criticizing the Israeli PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The arrival of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has touched off a flurry of protests in the nation’s capital, including a sit-in at a congressional office building that ended with multiple arrests. Some of the demonstrations have condemned Israel but others have expressed support while pressuring Netanyahu to strike a cease-fire deal […]

3 minutes ago

Pearl River's Kanyon Jimmie sprints with the "towa," or ball, while pursed by teammates and a Koni ...

Associated Press

Physicality and endurance win the World Series of perhaps the oldest game in North America

CHOCTAW, Miss. (AP) — As the drummers walk onto the field, the players behind them smack their hickory sticks to the beat. The rhythm envelops the stands and a palpable sense of anticipation flows through the crowd. Indigenous peoples have been playing stickball for hundreds of years, and every summer since 1975, teams have competed […]

3 minutes ago

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, Fraser Bullock and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, from left, pose for...

Associated Press

Salt Lake City celebrates expected announcement that it will host the 2034 Winter Olympics

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Salt Lake City is expected to be formally awarded the 2034 Winter Olympics following a Wednesday vote by the International Olympic Committee in Paris, which would give Utah its second Games after hosting in 2002. A watch party is planned at 3 a.m. local time — 11 a.m. in Paris […]

4 minutes ago

FILE - Boxes containing signatures supporting a proposed ballot measure to scale back Arkansas' abo...

Associated Press

Arkansas court orders state to count signatures collected by volunteers for abortion-rights measure

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Supreme Court on Tuesday night ordered the state to begin counting signatures submitted in favor of putting an abortion-rights measure on the ballot — but only ones collected by volunteers for the proposal’s campaign. The one-page order from the majority-conservative court left uncertainty about the future of the […]

29 minutes ago

FILE - Bryan Kohberger, right, is escorted into a courtroom for a hearing in Latah County District ...

Associated Press

Lawyer for man charged with killing 4 University of Idaho students wants trial moved to Boise

MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) — Lawyers for the man accused of fatally stabbing four University of Idaho students are urging a judge to move his murder trial away from the county, arguing the intense media coverage and public interest in the case make it impossible for him to get a fair trial. “The prolific media coverage, […]

2 hours ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., speaking during the second day of the Republican National...

Associated Press

Republican leaders urge colleagues to steer clear of racist and sexist attacks on Harris

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican leaders are warning party members against using overtly racist and sexist attacks against Vice President Kamala Harris, as they and President Donald Trump ‘s campaign scramble to adjust to the reality of a new Democratic rival less than four months before Election Day. At a closed-door meeting of House Republicans on […]

3 hours ago

House Republicans pull back contempt charge against FBI director Wray over Biden doc