Federal Bureau of Intelligence Director Christopher Wray will testify before a House committee on Wednesday as he faces impeachment threats from Donald Trump’s allies in Congress.
The FBI director will be the only witness at a House Judiciary Committee hearing that “will examine the politicization of the nation’s preeminent law enforcement agency under the leadership of [Wray] and Attorney General Merrick Garland,” the Republican-controlled panel said.
The hearing comes as leading Republicans have accused the FBI and Justice Department of political bias in their handling of investigations into Trump and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. Democrats have flatly rejected those charges, defending Trump’s Justice Department prosecution as proof that no American is above the law.
Last month, Trump was indicted on 37 federal charges for his alleged mishandling of classified documents. Weeks later, Hunter Biden reached an agreement with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to two tax misdemeanor charges while reaching a pretrial diversion agreement on a separate firearms charge. The deal, which will result in the firearms charge being dismissed if Hunter Biden meets certain conditions, will allow the president’s son to avoid a prison sentence.
Trump and his allies have pointed to the documents affair and Hunter Biden’s plea deal as a sign of a “double standard of justice,” in words of Congressman Jim Jordan, Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Legal experts note that the Espionage Act charges against Trump are much more serious, as the former president is accused of compromising national security by intentionally withholding classified documents from federal officials. The tax offenses committed by Hunter Biden, who has never held public office, are far less serious offenses and are rarely prosecuted. But that probably won’t stop House Republicans from grilling Wray over the handling of the president’s son investigation.
In May, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia, filed articles of impeachment against Wray for her handling of the Hunter Biden investigation, among other things. Two Republican co-sponsors of Greene’s bill, Congressmen Barry Moore of Alabama and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, sit on the House Judiciary Committee and will have the opportunity to question Wray on Wednesday.
Wray also recently found himself in the crosshairs of Congressman James Comer, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Comer last month threatened to hold Wray in contempt of Congress for his refusal to allow the committee to review a document outlining unsubstantiated corruption allegations against Joe Biden and his son. The contempt vote was ultimately overturned after Wray agreed to allow committee members to review a redacted version of the document.
Wray will almost certainly face questions about this investigation and many more on Wednesday.