WATCH: McCarthy says he’ll block Schiff and Swalwell from House Intelligence Committee
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Kevin McCarthy reiterated Tuesday that he will bar Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, R-Calif., from serving on the House committee that oversees National Intelligence, saying the decision was not based on political reward but that “integrity is important.” , and they failed here.
Watch McCarthy’s words in the player above.
In the previous Congress, Democrats removed Marjorie Taylor Green of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona from their committee assignments for incendiary comments that they said had incited violence against their colleagues.
In a letter to McCarthy over the weekend, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries called for reassigning Schiff and Swalwell to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, a high-profile panel with access to classified and classified information. There is “no precedent or justification” for rejecting them, Jeffries said.
Unlike most committees, appointments to the intelligence council are the prerogative of the chairman, subject to the minority leader’s input.
McCarthy said he would issue his response no later than Tuesday, but “let me be clear, it’s not like what the Democrats did. These members will have other committees, but the Intel committee is different. The Intel committee’s responsibility is America’s national security.
“Hakim Jeffries has 200 more people who could sit on this committee,” he added.
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McCarthy criticized Schiff’s actions as chairman of the board during the first impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, saying he used his position to “repeatedly lie to the American public.” He also claimed that Swalwell had failed to obtain a private sector security clearance, so “we are not going to give him America’s secrets.”
In March 2021, McCarthy tried to remove Swalwell from the intelligence community based on his ties to a suspected Chinese spy. His House Democratic resolution against Swalwell, which he defeated, cited reports that alleged spy Christine Fang contacted Swalwell’s campaign when he first ran for office. Congress held in 2012 and participated in fundraising for his 2014 campaign.
Federal investigators alerted Swalwell to their concerns and notified Congress in 2015 of Fang, at which point Swalwell said she cut all contact with him.
Schiff told colleagues in 2021 that Republican leaders, including then-House Speaker John Boehner and then-Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, learned of the situation involving Swalwell in 2015 and “would not object to him continuing to serve.” to the intelligence committee.
McCarthy said he would put national security ahead of partisan politics.
“We will restore the Intel committee. We no longer miss what happened in Afghanistan. We no longer miss what is happening in China, Russia, Iran and elsewhere. This is the way this country thinks it should be,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy also vowed to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from the Foreign Affairs Committee. In a joint statement, the three Democrats targeted the committee’s strike, saying, “It is disappointing, but not surprising, that Kevin McCarthy has compromised the integrity of Congress, undermined our security, and surrendered to the right wing of his caucus. national in the process”.
They called their impeachment part of McCarthy’s deal with hardliners in the GOP to become president, which “required political revenge on the three of us.”
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