Schiff’s focus on impeachment came ‘at the expense’ of coronavirus, Nunes says

“The Intelligence committee’s work on every other topic essentially came to a halt for months while impeachment was going through the House,” said the committee's ranking member

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Devin Nunes-Hearing
Rep. Devin Nunes speaks at House Intelligence Committee hearing on the Mueller Report on Russian election meddling.
(House Intelligence Committee)
Last Updated:
April 3, 2020 - 4:37pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence committee, said Friday that committee Chairman Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff's focus on President Trump's impeachment trial distracted Congress from paying attention to coronavirus and preparing for a pandemic.

“The Intelligence committee’s work on every other topic essentially came to a halt for months while impeachment was going through the House,” Nunes told Just the News. “So Schiff’s focus on impeachment came at the expense of all the committee’s oversight activities. That includes the coronavirus issue." 

Nunes spoke one day after Schiff announced that he's drafting legislation to form a 9/11-style commission to look into the Trump administration's preparedness and response to the virus – a move House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday endorsed.

The House's impeachment inquiry was announced in late-Sept. 2019 and lasted roughly four months. The Senate found Trump not guilty in February of 2020. Schiff, as chairman of a top committee in the Democrat-controlled chamber, was among the leading impeachment managers. 

"Schiff did not arrange a briefing on (coronavirus) until after impeachment ended,” Nunes also said. 

Schiff's office did not respond to a request for comment.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, former chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, sounded a similar note, telling Just the News on Thursday that real oversight questions should include why the Obama administration failed to resupply the national stockpile with respirators after drawing down 100 million of them for the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.  

"That's legitimate oversight," he told the John Solomon Reports podcast. "But now what's being talked about, Adam Schiff is talking about legislation to create a commission and a panel to look into, after we get through this terrible virus, to look at the government's response. My concern is that Adam Schiff is pushing this."

Jordan continued, "This is just yet again another, another attack,  another vehicle to use to go after President Trump. If we're going to do legitimate oversight and go back and look at what happened in the previous administration, then that's fine. But I've got a feeling that's not the plan of Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi."