Chair: Adam Schiff
10 Investigative Oversight Hearings
10 Policy/Legislative Hearings
24 Total HearingsLast updated: March 6, 2020, 9:34 a.m.
Originally formed as a temporary Select Committee in 1975, called the Pike Committee after its last chair, to investigate illegal activities by the CIA and FBI, the committee became Permanent in 1977. Like its Senate counterpart, the committee usually holds most of its hearings in closed session to hear classified information from government witnesses. Many of those hearings are presumed to be policy and legislative in nature, and are often titled simply “Ongoing intelligence activities.” With only 22 members, the committee is relatively small for the House, and is far less active than its Senate counterpart (even taking into account the Senate’s extra nomination duties), holding only about a quarter as many hearings per Congress. Lately it has had a more partisan reputation than its Senate counterpart as it has taken on some politically charged topics in its open hearings. Its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election in 115th Congress (2017-18) under Republican Devin Nunez of California ended in bitter partisan discord and a GOP-only report that contradicted some findings of the U.S. intelligence community. During the 116th Congress (2019-2020) under Democrat Adam Schiff of California, it led the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. It has four subcommittees: strategic technologies and advanced research (STAR); counterterrorism, counterintelligence and counterproliferation (C3); intelligence modernization and readiness (INMAR); and defense intelligence and warfighter support (DIWS).
From the 112th to the 115th Congress (2011-2018), the committee averaged only about 24 hearings per Congress, a fairly low figure for a committee with substantial jurisdiction. Its relatively few open hearings rarely (at least until the impeachment inquiry during the 116th Congress) involved investigative oversight. It sometimes holds a handful of open policy and legislative hearings each Congress, but held none during the 114th and 115th Congresses under Chair Nunes. In the 116th Congress under Chair Schiff, the number of investigative oversight hearings soared to an extraordinary high of 10, all but two of them directly related to the impeachment of President Trump. (The others looked at the counter-intelligence implications of the Mueller report’s findings about the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russians and Russia efforts to meddle in the 2016 election.) On the other hand, the number of policy and legislative hearings dwindled, partly due to the pandemic-shortened schedule.
111th Congress: Sylvestre Reyes (D-TX)
112th Congress: Mike Rogers (R-MI)
113th Congress: Mike Rogers (R-MI)
114th Congress: Devin Nunes (R-CA)
115th Congress: Devin Nunes (R-CA)
116th Congress: Adam Schiff (D-CA)
We are 100% of the way through the 116th Congress
House Committee on Intelligence (Permanent Select)10 Investigative Oversight Hearings; 100% historical maximum
Number of Hearings
* Adjustments have been applied so that committees' grades are not lowered by the constraints on hearings caused by Covid-19 [oversight-index.thelugarcenter.org/covid-19-statement]