Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, a senior member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) and a member of the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, provided Congressional Oversight to stand up against the political weaponization of the FBI during her questioning of FBI Director Christopher Wray during today’s HPSCI hearing.
During her line of questioning, Stefanik secured Wray’s commitment to provide a witness for an upcoming Weaponization hearing, but he still stonewalled and refused to answer whether the highly-reported Hunter Biden laptop story is disinformation or reveal who signed off on the unprecedented raid of Donald Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago.
Highlights from the questioning include:
Stefanik secured FBI Director Wray’s commitment to stop stonewalling House Republicans’ investigation into the politicization and weaponization of the FBI. During her line of questioning, he agreed to provide a witness for the upcoming Weaponization hearing:
Stefanik: I also want to shift gears here regarding the Judiciary Committee. I serve on the Select Subcommittee there and this committee has made 50 different requests for information and documents concerning the operations and the actions of the FBI. And to date, the FBI has not complied with the Judiciary Committee's long, outstanding requests for information and documents. The FBI is accountable to Congress and by extension, the American people responding to this routine oversight is the bare minimum. And today the FBI failed to send a witness to the Judiciary Committee hearing, saying that we had this hearing happening. Can you commit to sending a witness before the next Judiciary Committee Subcommittee hearing on March 28?
Wray: We're happy to work with you on making sure --
Stefanik: Can you commit to provide a witness?
Wray: We will of course make people available to the Committee
Stefanik: But you didn't make people available today. This is the base minimum. The agencies need to provide witnesses. Can I get a commitment yes, you will provide a witness?
Wray: We will work with you to make people
Stefanik: That's not a yes. So for the American people, you are having the FBI Director refuse to provide a witness. Just say yes.
Wray: I'm not refusing to provide a witness. I want to be clear on that. I said we will work with you to make somebody available.
Stefanik: Great, so someone will be made available?
Stefanik: Thank you. That's all I wanted, a yes.
Christopher Wray refused to answer whether he believes the Hunter Biden laptop story is disinformation:
Stefanik: Moving forward. Do you believe the Hunter Biden laptop story is disinformation?
Wray: Well, I want to be careful about there is an ongoing investigation that is relevant to that. So I have to be careful what I can share on that here.
Stefanik: Do you believe the Hunter Biden laptop story is disinformation?
Wray: I don't think there's anything I can share on that in open setting.
Stefanik: Were you aware that the FBI personnel were in contact with Twitter regarding the Hunter Biden laptop story?
Wray: I don't believe FBI personnel were in contact with Twitter about the Hunter laptop story. Specifically, I think there were people in contact with Twitter about Russian disinformation efforts,
Stefanik: Of which the Hunter Biden laptop story was included, according to the FBI.
Wray: Well, I don't know exactly what you're looking at. But I am happy to talk about what it is the FBI does and does not do with respect to social media companies.
Stefanik: Were you aware that the FBI had Hunter Biden's laptop since December of 2019?
Wray: I can't speak to exactly when we had a laptop available. As you as you know, there is an ongoing investigation run by the U.S. Attorney out of Delaware from the prior administration that we continue to work very closely with
Stefanik: And we have an ongoing investigation as well.
Wray: And our Baltimore field office is working very hard with that U.S. attorney and I expect
them to pursue that case as far as it takes.
Stefanik: This stonewalling Director Wray, the American people deserve answers, and this is unacceptable.
Wray refused to comment on who signed off on the raid of Mar-a-Lago:
Stefanik: Lastly, did you sign off on the Mar-a-Lago raid?
Wray: Well, first off, it was not a raid, it was an execution of a search warrant…Second, I don't sign off on individual search warrants in that case or in any other.
Stefanik: Did Attorney General Merrick Garland sign off to your awareness? I can't speak to the Attorney General. Was there dissent at senior levels of the FBI about the conducting of the search warrant?
Wray: I can't speak to any internal discussions among the FBI or among the FBI and the Department of Justice
Stefanik: Even though it's been reported in The Washington Post?
Wray: There are lots of things reported in the media
Stefanik: I know, leaked from your agency, frequently. It’s reported in the Washington Post.
Wray: That may or may not be accurate.