From Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA11)’s office:
Connolly Slams GOP Contempt Resolution
Washington, DC – Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, released the following statement in advance of today’s GOP contempt resolution markup:
Today’s markup is the definition of chutzpah. Three members of this panel, Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, and Andy Biggs, all defied legitimate Congressional subpoenas related to their involvement in or knowledge of a violent attack on the United States Capitol meant to overturn the results of a free and fair election. When called before Congress to provide testimony on a defining moment in American history, they ran and hid. But today, they are going to vote to hold in contempt a private citizen who has offered to provide voluntary, public testimony before the Committee.
They do this as ardent supporters of former President Donald J. Trump, who not only refused to comply with a Congressional subpoena, but went as far as to direct his former aides to do the same. Mr. Trump even used his defiance of Article 1 powers as a fundraising tool to aid his Presidential reelection campaign.
In fact, the Republican Party is littered with individuals who have flouted Congressional subpoena power. Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, former Attorney General William Barr, former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, former chief of staff Mark Meadows, and former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino all ignored Congressional subpoenas. For Republicans, the Rule of Law is for everyone, except themselves.
And again, the individual Chairman Comer wants to hold in contempt today has offered to provide voluntary, public testimony before the Committee.
This is not the first instance of Chairman Comer refusing to take yes for an answer in an attempt to manufacture scandal. On May 3, 2023, the Chairman issued a subpoena to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray, demanding that the FBI produce a document containing an unverified and unsubstantiated tip alleging improper conduct by Hunter Biden. To comply with this order and to “protect important concerns, such as the physical safety of sources and the integrity of investigations,” on June 2, 2023, the FBI permitted Committee staff to participate in an in-camera review of the redacted document and a second viewing of the document for Chairman Comer and Ranking Member Raskin on June 5, 2023.
Nevertheless, the Chairman continued to move the goal post changing his demand to a physical copy of the document. On June 7, 2023, the Oversight Committee issued a contempt resolution against Director Wray despite his past “good faith” gestures and “extraordinary accommodation.” In response, Director Wray acquiesced once more and made the document available to all committee members in a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF), and ultimately forced the Chairman to withdraw his contempt resolution. Not long after this viewing, Republicans in both the House and the Senate took this sensitive information and leaked it to the public compromising the safety of the confidential human source, committing the very act Director Wray was trying to prevent.
Republican members of Congress have taken to right-wing media and even the Floor of the House to bemoan the fact that the Majority has accomplished little and has nothing to run on. One cannot blame them. The Democratic majorities of the previous Congress delivered the biggest environmental and climate bill in world history, the biggest infrastructure investment in our nation’s history, and the most expansive manufacturing and industrial policy legislation in American history. The answer from current House leadership? Impeachments, subpoenas, and contempt resolutions. I am sure that’s what the American people want.
Under Republican leadership, the 118th Congress has been one of the least effective and unproductive in modern history. This contempt resolution will only cement the futility of your past efforts.