GOP Rep Threatens FBI Director With Contempt Of Congress

If FBI Director Christopher Wray doesn’t explain the agency’s attention to parents concerned about school policy and its projected infiltration of Catholics who oppose abortion, House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan has threatened to hold him in contempt. 

Jordan, who leads a subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee looking into the “weaponization” of government, expressed his displeasure at the FBI’s “wholly inadequate” response to subpoenas issued in February and April. After House Oversight Committee chairman James Comer successfully used a similar threat in May to get the FBI to release information from a whistleblower who claims President Biden accepted a $5 million bribe from a Ukrainian energy businessman while vice president, he is now threatening to hold Wray in contempt of Congress.

Jordan wrote to Wray that his panel has learned via depositions of witnesses that some documents exist but have not been supplied. There will be penalties if the FBI does not “substantially improve its compliance with the subpoenas” by July 25. 

So far, the FBI has not produced any documents that the Committee knows to be in its possession or has reasonable cause to suspect may be in its possession and are responsive to the subpoena.

The National School Boards Association expressed worry in a letter to President Biden in September 2021 about irate parents at school board meetings, and the FBI subsequently focused on alleged threats made by these parents. However, the documents are missing an email that may provide more context. After the letter reportedly drew FBI attention, the group issued an apology.

Historically, local law enforcement, not the federal government, has dealt with cases involving parents and taxpayers who cross the line from protected speech and reasonable criticism into criminal threats. According to testimony given by Steve Jensen, a former head of the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Operations Section, Kevin Chambers, Deputy Attorney General of the Department of Justice, emailed him on October 1, 2021. According to his testimony, the FBI failed to deliver any files referenced in the two recorded conversations.

A letter written by the FBI’s Richmond, Virginia, field office in January 2023 describes an apparent intersection between traditionalist Catholics who oppose abortion rights and other legislation and those with extremist views; this memo is the subject of the Catholic-targeting document request.

A Republican insider on Capitol Hill told The Post that Wray has the option of complying with Congress or being in contempt of Congress, which might result in legal consequences. The FBI should comply with subpoenas and requests for pertinent records from the Judiciary Committee, which has the authority to conduct legislative oversight of the agency. Even more extreme steps, such as Congress cutting off funds for agencies and impeaching their leaders, can enforce cooperation with record demands.