Rep. James Comer (R-TN), the top Republican on the Oversight Committee, announced Sunday in a letter the committee is investigating a New York Times report of a “secret deal to boost oil production” between the Biden administration and the Saudis to lower gas prices just before the midterm elections.
As Breitbart News reported in October, President Joe Biden was accused of “putting his own political interest ahead of the national interest by calling on the Saudis to hold off on cuts to oil production until after the midterms.” Former President Donald Trump was impeached for allegedly doing what Biden did.
Comer’s letter cites a Times article written in May 2022 in which Amos Hochstein and Brett McGurk, two top administration officials from the State Department and National Security Council, tried to create a “clandestine, two-part arrangement” in the spring of 2022 with Saudi Arabia to reduce the price of gas.
The national average price of gas in May was over $4.50 per gallon, a political liability.
On June 2, OPEC+ published new oil output timetables allegedly in “compliance” with the “secret deal” between the Biden Administration and Saudi Arabia. On the same day, Biden said he would travel to meet with Saudi leadership in October, one month before the midterm election.
Despite the scheduled meeting and “secret deal” to boost oil production, Comer says “OPEC+ failed to meet the production metrics outlined in the secret deal by promising to increase output.” The failure to meet the production metrics caused the Biden Administration to further its OPEC+ lobbying efforts before the October summit between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Nevertheless, OPEC+ announced it would cut oil production in November 2022, which was viewed by the administration as a “betrayal” leading up to the midterms.
Comer said the administration’s actions must be investigated to know whether it has engaged “in backdoor market manipulations with adversarial nations while jeopardizing our national security for the sake of securing more favorable election conditions for Democrats”:
This Committee has a responsibility to uncover the facts surrounding any backdoor deals cut by President Biden or his emissaries. The President is choosing foreign sources over domestic source—all for political purposes. If his Administration is engaging in backdoor market manipulations with adversarial nations while jeopardizing our national security for the sake of securing more favorable election conditions for Democrats, the American people have a right to know.
Comer demanded the administration hand over relevant documents about the incident and asked Hochstein to sit for a transcribed interview.