House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.) speaking at the Capitol on January 12. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.) named Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) to the Intelligence Committee in a letter to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) First Saturday obtained by News.
Why is this important: McCarthy said he would refuse Schiff and Swalwell nominations to the committee, although Jeffries told McCarthy in the letter that it would go “against the serious and sober mission of the intelligence committee” and expose the “apparent double standard” of Republicans in designating assignments to the committee.
What they say : “At the same time as Republicans threatened to deny seats on the Intelligence Committee to clearly qualified Democratic members, serial fraudster George Santos was placed on two House standing committees and welcomed into your conference,” it read. in Jeffries’ letter to McCarthy.
- “The apparent double standard risks undermining the spirit of bipartisan cooperation that Congress desperately needs,” he continues.
- “I urge you to honor the past practice of the House of Representatives and our mutual interest in working together for the good of the American people by accepting my recommendation of Adam Schiff to serve as a ranking member and Eric Swalwell to continue his service. as a member of the Intelligence Committee.
Schiff said on social media that he was ‘proud’ of Jeffries’ appointment to the committee and that McCarthy threatened to remove him ‘to appease his right-wing’ but following him ‘will harm the independence of the committee’ .
- “With his committee on conspiracy theories, he seriously undermines national security,” Schiff tweeted Monday.
The big picture: Jeffries defended the removals of committee assignments from Greene and Gosar, saying the actions were bipartisan and justified after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
- McCarthy, however, said their removals set a new standard, which Republicans would not hesitate to use to remove Democrats from assignments.
- McCarthy argued that Swalwell brief association with a Chinese spy made him ineligible for a seat on the committee, although he was never charged with wrongdoing and cut ties with the spy after being alerted by federal investigators.
- McCarthy also considers Schiff, one of the longest-serving members of the Intelligence Committee, disqualified from serving as a ranking member for promoting the Steele Folderwhich alleged extensive ties between former President Trump and Russia, but has not been verified.
- Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) was also targeted by McCarthy for removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee over her 2019 comments about the influence of a pro-Israel lobby group on the Congress, which members of both parties criticized at the time as anti-Semitic.
- Omar, who has apologized for the remarkis expected to be nominated to the committee by Democrats this week according to Punchbowl News, although the entire House must vote to remove her from the panel.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with a tweet from Rep. Adam Schiff.