BREAKING: House to Release Results of Investigation Into Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Failures on Friday
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the House Coronavirus Oversight Committee will publish the findings from its investigation into President Donald Trump’s cataclysmic mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday morning, paving the way for a last-minute October surprise four days before the election.
On Thursday afternoon, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Chairman and Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), and Oversight and Reform’s Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee Chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) released documents showing that the Trump Administration funneled $250 million of taxpayer money into an advertising blitz to help the president’s reelection campaign.
In September, the Chairs sent a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar requesting that the department explain why it had used public funds for political purposes.
Azar never replied, and now Congress is coming for him.
“You have not provided any documents in response to our requests. In the meantime, however, we have obtained documents from the contractors involved, and these documents include extremely troubling revelations,” the Chairs wrote in a followup letter to Azar on Wednesday.
“They show Trump Administration official Michael Caputo inserting partisan political interests into the ad campaign, they show contractor employees and career staff at the Food and Drug Administration pushing back on these inappropriate efforts, and they show the Trump Administration and its contractors vetting celebrities for the ad campaign based on whether they support gay rights and same-sex marriage or have ever disagreed with President Trump in the past,” wrote the Chairs, adding, “it is completely inappropriate to frame a taxpayer-funded ad campaign around ‘helping’ President Trump in the weeks and days before the election. This theme also ignores the reality that more than 220,000 Americans have died from coronavirus – a fact that should not be whitewashed in a legitimate public health message.”
Where did the money go?
“It is critical that HHS provide accurate, nonpolitical public health information to the American people that encourages mask wearing, social distancing, and other science-backed public health recommendations. Yet, the documents we have obtained indicate that HHS political appointees sought to use taxpayer dollars to advance a partisan political agenda and direct taxpayer money to their friends and allies,” the Chairs said, demanding once again that Azar comply with their request:
To assist in our review of this matter, please produce by November 10, 2020:
1. All documents and information we requested in our September 10, 2020, letter;
2. All documents and information referring or relating to the recommendation to Atlas to include DD&T Group, Grapeseed Media, and Co/efficient as subcontractors on Atlas’ prime contract;
3. All communications between current or former Department officials or employees and any employee, contractor, or representative of DD&T Group, Grapeseed Media, or Co/efficient. The Committee on Oversight and Reform is the principal oversight committee of the House of Representatives and has broad authority to investigate ‘any matter” at ‘any time’ under House Rule X. House Resolution 935 established the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis ‘to conduct a full and complete investigation’ of ‘issues related to the coronavirus crisis,’ including ‘executive branch policies, deliberations, decisions, activities, and internal and external communications related to the coronavirus crisis.’
Five days until the election.