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ROUNDUP: Comer and Grassley Face Backlash Over Unsubstantiated Allegations

May 4, 2023

Yesterday, House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced their plans to subpoena the FBI over allegations that President Biden is supposedly part of a nefarious scheme based on unsubstantiated “whistleblower disclosures.” This is only the latest in a years-long series of outlandish accusations against President Biden and his family—and just like every other accusation from Jim Jordan or Comer, Republicans haven’t produced a single shred of evidence to back up their claims. Once again, Republicans are more committed to political stunts and their MAGA agenda than addressing the issues Americans care most about. But don’t just take our word for it:


Manu Raju, CNN correspondent: “Asked Grassley what evidence he has about Biden’s ‘alleged criminal scheme.’ ‘Everything that we have is in our statement, and it’s up to the FBI to get us that document immediately. And then we’ll know more than probably what’s in that document.’” [Twitter, 5/4/23]

Brit Hume, Fox News political analyst: “We don’t know very much. It doesn’t keep these politicians on the Hill from coming out and talking about it. But we need to be careful here.” [Fox News, 5/3/23]

Kevin Walling, Fox News contributor and campaign strategist: “You have three U.S. Senators, Josh Hawley, Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson on this very network talking about these supposed accusations of bribery but without providing any detail of evidence – not one shred of evidence.” [Twitter, 5/4/23]

David Jolly, former Republican U.S. representative: “Speaker McCarthy’s Oversight Chair today formally accused Joe Biden of accepting bribes while VP, without providing evidence. McCarthy routinely platforms this stuff in bad faith. He’s undeserving of equity in legitimate debates like the debt default.” [Twitter, 5/3/23]

Norman Ornstein, contributing editor for the Atlantic: “Comer and Grassley are unfit for public office.” [Twitter, 5/3/23]

Dan Friedman, political reporter: “Comer and Grassley air a claim that the FBI received an unsubstantiated allegation about Biden, ie a rumor, by pretending to believe the FBI should announce any allegation it may have heard.” [Twitter, 5/3/23]


HuffPost: Republicans Hype More Unsubstantiated Allegations Against Joe Biden. “[Republicans] acknowledged they don’t know if the allegation will pan out. […] Comer has previously sought to tie Biden to allegedly corrupt businesses [sic] dealings by his son Hunter Biden. […] A number of other Republicans appeared on Fox News to weigh in on the latest supposed criminal evidence, backing the allegation despite the scarcity of details.” [HuffPost, 5/4/23]

CNN: “The Unverified Allegation…Is The Most Explosive Claim [Comer and Grassley] Have Lobbed.” “The unverified allegation, outlined in a new letter Wednesday, is the most explosive claim House Oversight Chairman James Comer and Senate Budget Committee ranking Republican member Chuck Grassley have lobbed at the now-president after both men have devoted significant time to investigating the Biden family’s business dealings.” [CNN, 5/3/23]

Politico: Republicans Allege Unspecified Biden ‘Scheme,’ Fire Off New FBI Subpoena. “The two Republicans provided no information on the purported whistleblower’s background, or how that person would have knowledge of an alleged conversation with an FBI source. GOP lawmakers have faced Democratic criticism in the past for applying the whistleblower designation to individuals who don’t meet the legal definition. […] Grassley and Comer acknowledged in their letter to Wray and Garland that they weren’t sure if the FBI had already investigated the matter internally. […] No evidence has emerged that Biden’s decisions were influenced by his son’s arrangements, though Hunter Biden’s business dealings have propelled GOP investigations on both sides of the Capitol since before his father’s election.” [Politico, 5/3/23]

The Hill: Republicans Subpoena FBI For Document Alleging Unspecified ‘Criminal Scheme’ Involving Biden. “The two Republicans do not directly accuse the president of participating in a criminal scheme and describe the allegations that they think the FBI is aware of in broad terms with no details.” [The Hill, 5/3/23]