Incoming House Chair: Democrats Tanked Credibility Of Congressional Investigations

Rep. James Comer (R-KY) is set to become the next chairman of the House next year when Republicans take over. He blames Democrats for illegitimate Congressional investigations. In his Wednesday interview with Punchbowl News, Comer said Democrats are to blame for Congressional investigations losing their credibility.

Comer noted Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the late Elijah Cummings for improper handling of investigations and taking advantage of subpoena power. However, Comer did mention that both parties have mishandled investigations in the past. His goal in the House this upcoming year is to turn the reputation of congressional investigations around.

Schiff is well known for mishandling the Russia collusion investigation and the first impeachment of former President Trump. He currently serves on the House Intelligence Committee and the January 6th Committee. While Schiff frequently released public claims that he had evidence of Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia, he never released evidence from the investigation to back his claims. Earlier this year, Schiff took a step further, making new claims that Trump was personally involved in the effort to overturn the 2020 election. He did not reveal any evidence for these claims either.

Elijah Cummings, who recently passed in October, served as chair of the Oversight Committee from January 2019 until his death. Unfortunately, Cummings was known to subpoena anyone and everyone in the presidential administration. In the Wednesday interview, Comer promised not to send out subpoenas as Cummings did aimlessly. He said that the Oversight will be very selective with subpoenas moving forward and that when someone receives it, “it’s going to mean something.”

Speculation that his committee would take the focus off Republican legislative priorities has surfaced. But Comer assured Punchbowl News that is not the case at all. Currently, the Oversight Committee is 8% of the Republican Conference and is dedicated to fraud, waste, and abuse issues. Investigations in the new Republican-led committee will undertake issues surrounding Covid, pandemic-related payments, illegal immigration, and the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Comer said the Republicans are devoted to holding the administration accountable as promised in their campaigns during midterms. He added that the other 92% of the Republican Conference would be focused on inflation reduction, border security, lowering crime, and energy policy changes. The Oversight Committee will also open an investigation into Hunter Biden and the family’s business with foreign entities, as previously outlined at a news conference last week.