McCarthy blocks Democrats Schiff and Swalwell from intelligence committee

McCarthy blocks Democrats Schiff and Swalwell from intelligence committee

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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Tuesday he would bar Reps. Adam B. Schiff and Eric Swalwell from serving on the House Intelligence Committee, days after the Minority Leader of the House, Hakeem Jeffries (DN.Y.) officially recommended the California Democrats be reappointed to the panel.

McCarthy argued that Schiff and Swalwell were unfit to serve on the committee, using Schiff’s work leading the first impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and Swalwell’s alleged ties to a Chinese intelligence agent. There have been no evidence of wrongdoing regarding the allegation against Swalwell.

“It’s nothing political. It’s not similar to what the Democrats did,” McCarthy told reporters Tuesday night. Intel is national security….I respect Hakeem Jeffries’ support of his conference and his people.But integrity matters.

Unlike most committees, where party leaders control their appointees, the chairman has the final say on who sits on the intelligence panel.

McCarthy declined to answer multiple questions about whether he would try to block Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee — a decision that would require a majority vote across the board. Room.

Schiff told reporters that McCarthy was “carrying the dirty water” for Trump by leaving him off the committee in retaliation for his work in Trump’s first impeachment trial.

Republicans have been keen to decline Democrats’ positions on key panels after the Democratic-led House in last Congress voted to remove Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul A. Gosar (R-Arizona ) of their committee assignments . Greene previously voiced his approval of violence against prominent Democrats, and Gosar posted an animated social media video depicting the murder of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.). In votes to remove them from their committee, some Republicans joined Democrats in voting yes.

Greene and Gosar were removed from their positions “after a bipartisan House vote deemed them unfit to serve on standing committees for directly inciting violence against their colleagues,” Jeffries wrote in his letter. “This does not serve as a precedent or justification for the removal of Representatives Schiff and Swalwell, given that they never exhibited violent thoughts or behavior.”

McCarthy, in his formal response in Jeffries on Tuesday, said he could not “put partisan loyalty ahead of national security” and accused Democrats of abusing the panel in the past two terms of Congress. McCarthy claimed that, under Democratic scrutiny, the panel “undermined its core national security and oversight missions, ultimately leaving our nation less secure.”

In a joint statement released Tuesday after McCarthy’s announcement, Schiff, Omar and Swalwell said they found it “disappointing but not surprising” that McCarthy was trying to block them from committee assignments. They accused him of “undermining the integrity of Congress and damaging our national security in the process.”

“He made a corrupt deal in his desperate, and nearly failed, bid to win the presidency, a deal that required political revenge against the three of us,” he said, referring to negotiations McCarthy entered into with the far-right flank of his party during his long struggle for the presidency.

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