President Trump warned against “partisan investigations” of his administration as it works to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday a plan to create a special oversight panel to oversee the distribution of billions of federal dollars dedicated to the response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
During the White House coronavirus task force briefing later that day, Trump said he suspected another “witch hunt” was on the horizon.
“I want to remind everyone here in our nation’s capital, especially in Congress, that this is not the time for politics, endless, partisan investigations (here we go again),” Trump said, “have already done extraordinary damage to our country in recent years. You see what happens. It’s witch hunt after witch hunt after witch hunt, and, in the end, the people doing the witch hunt have been losing, and they’ve been losing by a lot, and it’s not any time for witch hunts.”
Trump has used the “witch hunt” label to criticize the Russia investigation and the Ukraine impeachment effort, which ended in Senate acquittal earlier this year.
Another official at the briefing, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, said he does not believe the coronavirus oversight committee is necessary.
“Both parties wanted us to have oversight, wanted us to have transparency. We have full transparency. We have a oversight committee that the speaker gets to pick someone. The leader gets to pick someone. I believe there’s five people on it. Again, that committee will review the money that we’re spending, and, again, we support full transparency, taxpayers should understand how we’re going to support this economy and jobs,” he said.
Those comments echo House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who called the plan for a new committee “really redundant.”