Kevin McCarthy Denies Committee Seats To Eric Swalwell And Adam Schiff

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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has avenged Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) by blocking two Democrats from serving on a House committee.

McCarthy introduced Tuesday he would refuse to seat Democratic Reps. Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff of California on the House Intelligence Committee — pure political payback for Democrats eradicating Greene and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) from committees in 2021.

In a public letter to Democratic chief Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who had named the pair to the intelligence committee, McCarthy stated that “in order to maintain a standard worthy of this committee’s responsibilities,” he would reject the appointment of the 2 Democrats.

Greene has emerged as McCarthy’s high ally on the far-right flank of the Republican Party. Democrats booted her from committees in 2021 when it got here out that she had trafficked on-line in conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric towards political opponents, particularly Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), earlier than coming to Congress. McCarthy gained Greene’s help for his speakership partly by promising to place her again on committees if Republicans managed the House — a promise he has stored.

McCarthy didn’t clarify in his letter why Swalwell and Schiff shouldn’t serve on the committee, however he has repeatedly claimed Swalwell could be unable to get a safety clearance on account of a previous affiliation with a Chinese spy and that Schiff had lied to the American individuals. Both allegations are specious.

“This is not anything political,” McCarthy advised reporters on the Capitol earlier on Tuesday. “This is not similar to what the Democrats did. Those members will have other committees, but the intel committee is different.”

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Drew Angerer by way of Getty Images

Blocking the committee appointments is an apparent act of political retribution. McCarthy first recommended Republicans would accomplish that in November 2021 when the House voted as well Gosar from committees after he posted a bizarre cartoon video depicting himself killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

McCarthy can unilaterally deny seats on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as a result of the speaker has extra management over choose committees than standing committees. He has additionally threatened to dam Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from committees, however doing so would doubtless require a House vote.

In a Sunday letter to McCarthy, Jeffries stated eradicating Republicans from committees for his or her threatening conduct towards colleagues shouldn’t be used as a precedent for eradicating Swalwell and Schiff. He described the appointment of “serial fraudster” George Santos (R-N.Y.) to 2 committees as a double customary.

McCarthy insisted Tuesday {that a} secret briefing he’d obtained from the FBI warranted Swalwell’s elimination from the intel committee.

“The FBI was concerned about putting a member of Congress on the intel committee — that have the rights to see things that others don’t — because of his knowledge and relationship with a Chinese spy,” McCarthy stated.

What’s publicly recognized in regards to the allegation stems from a 2020 Axios story that stated a Chinese spy ingratiated herself with elected Democrats from 2011 by means of 2015, together with by elevating cash for Swalwell’s reelection, and that Swalwell instantly ceased all contact with the individual after the FBI briefed him. The story didn’t lay out any wrongdoing by Swalwell.

McCarthy supplied a listing of grievances in opposition to Schiff, the previous chair of the intelligence committee, together with a doubtful declare that he personally knew the whistleblower who sparked the primary impeachment of former President Donald Trump.

In a joint assertion, Swalwell, Schiff and Omar stated McCarthy had “capitulated to the right wing” of the Republican Party and struck a corrupt cut price “that required political vengeance against the three of us.”

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