WASHINGTON — The top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee wants the FBI to tell the public what it really thinks about a mysterious corruption allegation against President Joe Biden.
On Friday, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) asked the FBI to release its analysis of a tip submitted to the bureau in 2020 that a foreign national claimed to have paid Biden $5 million when he was vice-president. president.
Publicly, the Justice Department has said nothing about the allegation — and Republicans have run with the rumor, saying Biden was filmed in a corrupt scheme and the FBI shielded him while prosecuting him. former President Donald Trump.
FBI officials privately briefed Raskin and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) last week. The two lawmakers offered wildly divergent accounts of what the officials said, with Comer saying the allegation “has not been refuted” and that the president remains “under investigation for corruption.”
“It is deeply concerning that recent public statements are patently inconsistent with statements made by the FBI during the June 5, 2023 briefing,” Raskin said in his Friday letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Raskin said the derogatory material was brought to the attention of the Justice Department by former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani in 2020, and that U.S. Attorney General William Barr instructed Scott Brady, then U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, to evaluate the material ― which Brady later determined was not worth studying thoroughly. (Barr acknowledged at the time that the Justice Department was taking a skeptical look at Giuliani’s material.)
“The FBI explained that the assessment was closed because Mr. Brady’s team had not found sufficient evidence to warrant escalating its investigation into Mr. Giuliani’s allegations from an assessment of the allegations to a preliminary or full investigation,” Raskin said in his letter. “The FBI read an excerpt from a memorandum closing the evaluation with the concurrence of Mr. Brady and senior DOJ officials.”
Barr has said in recent weeks that the Pittsburgh office was not authorized to open an investigation and that the Justice Department passed the information to Delaware prosecutors, who would weigh tax evasion charges against Hunter Biden.
In his letter, Raskin asked the FBI to “reiterate in writing the unclassified information” that FBI officials had provided him and Comer by the end of next week.