House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday dismissed fellow California Representative Adam B. Schiff and Eric Swalwell continue to serve on the House Standing Committee on Intelligence.
The rejection comes after McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) vowed to remove Schiff (D-Burbank) and Swalwell (D-Dublin) from the committee in response to a move by Democrats – and some Republicans – in the last Congress to strip the GOP of sedition. Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona for their committee assignments.
McCarthy: “I appreciate your loyalty to your fellow Democrats” wrote in a message to Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who asked over the weekend that Schiff and Swalwell keep their seats on the committee. “But I can’t put partisan loyalty over national security.”
McCarthy described his rejection of the California Democrats as a step toward maintaining “a standard befitting the responsibilities of this committee.” The committee provides oversight of the US intelligence community and the military intelligence program.
McCarthy alleged that the committee had been abused with Democrats in the majority for the past four years, “severely” undermining national security and oversight.
Schiff and Swalwell were quick to respond.
Schiff called the move “a petty political payback for investigating Donald Trump” and warned in a fundraising email that it was also “a dangerous attempt to go after anyone who has [Republicans] responsible” and risk turning the committee “into a political game for their supporters on the right.”
“If he thinks this will stop me, he will soon find out how wrong he is,” Schiff tweeted, referring to McCarthy.
“This denial is based on a claim that the Washington Post’s independent fact-checker gave 4 Pinocchio,” Swalwell chirp. “[GOP] Speaker Boehner and Ryan, both of the gang of 8, appointed me to Intel with access to the same facts McCarthy distorts. He can keep me away from Intel, but I’m not going away.”
McCarthy also pledged to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, but it’s unclear if he has the votes to do so.
Under House rules, the speaker has unilateral power to remove Schiff and Swalwell from the high-level intelligence committee. Removing Omar from a standing committee would require a full vote.
At least two Republicans — Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana and Nancy Mays of South Carolina — said they would not vote to remove Omar from the committee. With a very slim majority, Republicans can afford no more than four defections to kick her off the committee.
Over the weekend, Jeffreys urged McCarthy to “honor the past practices of the House and our common interest in working together for the good of the American people” by accepting his recommendations of Schiff to be the ranking member of the committee and Swalwell to retain him. membership.
Removing Green and Gosar from their commissions, Jeffries said, was “not a precedent or justification” for dismissing Schiff and Swalwell.
Green was fired in February 2021 after a backlash over comments she made prior to taking office, in which she expressed support for unsubstantiated conspiracy theories and appeared to endorse violence against Democratic lawmakers. She later distanced herself from the comments
Gosar faced a similar punishment in November 2021 after he posted, and later deleted, a cartoon video with his face superimposed on a character killing someone with the face of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DNY) and wielding swords against President Biden.
McCarthy said the removal of Schiff, a key manager during President Trump’s first impeachment trial, was justified because Schiff “lied” to the public about some details of the whistleblower report that launched the investigation, and dismissed emails that were allegedly found on a laptop It is owned by Hunter. Biden is a Russian ploy.
McCarthy argued that Swalwell was unable to obtain security clearance in the private sector after a report that he had been targeted by a suspected Chinese spy, with whom he subsequently severed ties.
In separate letters to the Steering and Policy Committee earlier this month, Schiff and Swalwell asserted that McCarthy had no basis for removing any Democrats from committees and said he should not do so on the basis of “defamation and falsehoods,” “fabricated stories, or political revenge.” “
But there is nothing Democrats can do to reverse his decision.
On Monday, McCarthy said he would add Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Santa Clarita) to the Intelligence Committee. Schiff and Swalwell are the second and third California members to leave the committee since the last congress, when former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Toleer) resigned to run former President Trump’s media and technology company.
Party leaders reached agreement over the weekend on committee ratios for the new Congress, and last week the Republican Steering Committee selected Green and Gosar to serve on the Committee on Oversight and Accountability. Green will also have a seat on the Homeland Security Committee, and Gosar will sit on the Committee on Natural Resources.