OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Republicans and Democrats combined to have a unanimous vote in the House of Representatives and Dr. Anthony Fauci is not going to be thrilled.
In a 419 – 0 vote the House voted on Friday to declassify all intelligence reports on the origins of the COVID pandemic, CBS News reported.
The bill, which already passed the Senate, would require Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to declassify any information about links between the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the controversial viral research laboratory in the city where the SARS-CoV-2 virus first emerged. The vote in the House was 419 to 0.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre did not directly answer whether the president would sign the legislation, saying, “We’re taking a look at the bill.”
The intelligence community has not definitively agreed on the origins of the pandemic. A report in 2021 reflecting the findings of intelligence community was inconclusive, and determined two theories were “plausible” to explain how the virus emerged: “natural exposure to an infected animal and a laboratory-associated incident.” The Department of Energy recently concluded, with “low confidence,” that it was plausible that the virus originated from a lab, a theory supported by the FBI.
The legislation was introduced last week by Republican Sens. Josh Hawley and Mike Braun and passed the Senate with unanimous consent so whether Biden signs it or not it appears to have the support to override a veto.
“Now the American people will be able to see what their government knows about COVID origins – and those who lied about it can be held accountable,” Sen. Hawley said.
Now the American people will be able to see what their government knows about COVID origins – and those who lied about it can be held accountable
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 10, 2023
It comes as Rep. Jim Jordan tore into Dr. Fauci for not pursuing the lab leak theory.
The representative is said to be “building a case” against the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“So, specifically before your committee, and also before Rand Paul over in the Senate, Dr. Fauci has, of course, absolved himself of all funding of gain-of-function,” conservative podcaster Benny Johnson said in an interview with Jordan. “He said he doesn’t know anything about it. It is verifiable and demonstrable that he lied. Now, there are codes in Congress. I have a code right here, 18 U.S. Code 1001.”
“1001,” Jordan responded, according to Trending Politics.
“Statements — false statements to Congress,” Johnson noted. “Says you can be imprisoned, says you can be imprisoned for eight years if you lie to Congress. It seems like there has never been a more clear-cut case of some individual lying to Congress.”
“Yeah, we can do — there could be a referral, but you would refer to the Biden Justice Department,” Jordan responded. “I don’t know that — they’re going to pursue that, but you can definitely do that. You could, have to have one of the committees, the Senate Judiciary Committee could do a referral. I doubt they will with the Democrats in charge.”
“We could do a referral potentially,” the Ohio Republican continued. “I would, frankly, prefer just to have Dr. Fauci come back in and take another round of questions here, but we’re building the case. You know, like, we had Dr. Redfield testify last week, Chairman Wenstrup did. I thought he was — I thought he was great. As were the other witnesses that were brought in.”
🚨BREAKING: Rep. @Jim_Jordan on Dr. Fauci’s lies before Congress: "We’re building the case" for criminal referrals.
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) March 10, 2023
“So, again, laying that foundation,” he continued. “I do think Dr. Fauci and the CDC changed the definition of gain-of-function research, so that Fauci has, like, this wiggle room, but they were juicing up this virus, no doubt about it, juicing up this virus, making it more — I don’t know the technical, but making it juiced up and more deadly, I guess, maybe the correct word.”
“Yes,” Johnson responded.
“So, they were doing that in this lab and I think that’s clear,” Jordan said. “So, we’ll just have to see as we move through this investigation.”
The interview came after Rep. Jordan tore Fauci to shreds during the first hearing of the new House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.