https://www.theepochtimes.com/congressman-urges-probe-of-claims-biden-admin-officials-asked-saudi-arabia-to-delay-oil-cuts_4796019.html

Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) on Thursday urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to formally investigate whether Biden administration officials suggested Saudi Arabia delay the decision of a group of key oil-producing countries to cut oil output until after the midterms.

Tiffany wrote to Pelosi asking for the Congressional probe after Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud suggested in an official statement that the Biden administration asked the kingdom to “postpon[e] the OPEC+ decision for a month.”

This statement was released hours after White House national security adviser Ned Price denied reports that Biden administration officials had requested the delay.

“These are very serious allegations, and if the Biden administration did, in fact, attempt to coordinate with a foreign government to influence the U.S. election, that’s something the American people deserve to know,” Tiffany said in a statement.

“Speaker Pelosi and Congress have a responsibility to get to the bottom of these deeply troubling reports as soon as possible.”

(L-R) Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi participates in a ceremonial swearing-in with new Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.), with wife Christine, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on May 19, 2020. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

‘It Is the House’s Responsibility’

In a letter (pdf) to Pelosi, Tiffany said that if the Saudi official’s claim is true it “may very well constitute an illegal solicitation of a foreign in-kind contribution by the White House on behalf of Democrats’ midterm campaign efforts.”

The Wisconsin Republican urged Congress to convene hearings to get to the bottom of what requests were made of officials from Saudi Arabia or OPEC+ by Biden administration officials.

Tiffany also demanded the White House immediately release the transcript from the last month of any calls between President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Cabinet officials, or other senior administration officials and representatives of Saudi Arabia about oil production.

He also urged Congress to identify any Biden administration official who may have asked any Saudi government official to delay the decision to cut oil production by a month.

“It is the House’s responsibility to exercise its oversight responsibilities and get to the bottom of these troubling reports as soon as possible,” Tiffany wrote.

In 2019, then-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) sent a similar letter to then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) urging him to stop former President Donald Trump from withholding an Intelligence Community whistleblower complaint.

Epoch Times Photo
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to the press as he makes a surprise visit to pick up lunch alongside U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) (C) and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis (R) at Tacos 1986 in Los Angeles, California, on Oct. 13, 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

While visiting Los Angeles on Thursday, where gas prices are $7 a gallon in some places, Biden was asked what message he had for Saudi Arabia with respect to gas prices.

“‘We’re about to talk to you,’” Biden said without further explanation.

“We’re about to talk to them,” he added.

When asked what he plans to say to the kingdom, Biden replied, “Stay tuned.”

Saudi Arabia Rejects White House Criticism

The White House framed OPEC’s decision on Oct. 5 to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day as taking a position of support for Russian President Vladimir Putin with respect to the Ukraine–Russia war.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the decision a “mistake” and accused OPEC+ of “aligning with Russia,” which is a key member of the oil producer group.

Responding to the criticism, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister insisted OPEC’s decision was “purely” about maintaining a balance of supply and demand and limiting volatility in the oil markets.

“The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would first like to express its total rejection of these statements that are not based on facts, and which are based on portraying the OPEC+ decision out of its purely economic context,” bin Farhan Al Saud said.

Caden Pearson

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Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia. Contact him on caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au

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