House Republicans believe that the Dems are plotting to use a new coronavirus investigative committee to damage President Trump’s reputation in the critical months ahead of the 2020 election.
On Thursday, the House will vote in an emergency session to pass a resolution creating a special House panel to oversee the distribution of billions of federal dollars dedicated to the response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Pelosi said that the panel would “prevent waste, fraud, and abuse” and would be bipartisan. She appointed the House majority whip, South Carolina Democrat James Clyburn, to oversee the panel.
But Republicans claim that there is another, more political purpose for the panel that follows in the path of the Democrats’ Russian collusion investigation and their impeachment of Trump over his efforts to get Ukraine government officials to investigate Joe Biden.
Democrats, they believe, will use the coronavirus committee as a platform to publicly excoriate Trump over his response to the coronavirus, which many Democrats have been harshly criticizing as negligent.
“This is just one more attempt by the Democrats to go after the president,” Rep. Jim Jordan, the top GOP member on the House Oversight panel, said.
Republicans also pointed out that there are already eight oversight entities that can ensure the money is not misspent, including a special inspector general and congressionally-appointed panel backed with $25 million in federal funding.
“The first eight are going to look out for the taxpayers,” Jordan said. “The ninth is going to look out for the Democrats’ candidate for president, Joe Biden.”
Republicans now envision coronavirus hearings that will replicate the Russia and Ukraine probes targeting Trump, but with much higher stakes — taking place right before the 2020 election.
“Here we go in an election year, and we know what these hearings will look like this fall,” Jordan said, testifying before the House Rules Committee Wednesday in an expansive hearing room. “They’ll probably take place in this room, like all the big hearings seem to do, and they’ll be calling all kinds of people to go after the president.”