More bad news for Emergent: a congressional panel is launching an investigation into the company

House Democrats have launched an investigation into Emergent BioSolutions, the embattled contract manufacturer of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccines, to find out if the company used its relationship with a key Trump administration official to secure a $628 million federal contract.

In a letter sent to the company’s CEO and its executive chairman, Democrats on the Oversight Committee and the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis said they were concerned Emergent won contracts “despite a track record of increasing prices without justification and failing to meet contract requirements.”

The Democrats, led by Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and coronavirus subcommittee chairman James Clyburn (D-S.C.). requested that Emergent’s two top executives testify at a May 19 hearing and provide a wide array of records.

“Specifically, we are investigating reports that Emergent received multimillion-dollar contracts to manufacture coronavirus vaccines despite a long, documented history of inadequately trained staff and quality control issues,” the lawmakers wrote.

String of problems: This month, the Food and Drug Administration began an audit of its factory in southeastern Baltimore after workers contaminated a batch of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine with an ingredient for AstraZeneca’s vaccine, another product manufactured at the plant.

Biden administration officials have said that AstraZeneca’s vaccine will no longer be manufactured at the plant, and Johnson & Johnson officials have taken complete control of its operations.