House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has restored right-wing extremists to powerful positions on important committees — and is living up to his party’s promise to punish Democrats who stood up to Donald Trump by rejecting them.
In a newly-released letter, he announced Tuesday evening that Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) would not be permitted on the Intelligence Committee.
Only a short time earlier, McCarthy dodged press questions, insisting he would place national security ahead of partisan politics.
Then, he tweeted out a letter rejecting Schiff and Swalwell — and insisting that his “integrity” obligated him to do so.
Meanwhile, he’s placed Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) — both of whom were stripped of committees during Nancy Pelosi’s Speakership (over Greene’s attachment to Q-anon and racist conspiracy theories, and Gosar’s tweet of an animated video altered to depict himself attacking and killing Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) — on the House Oversight Committee, where they’ll be perfectly placed to participate in revenge investigations targeting President Joe Biden and other Democrats.
McCarthy’s letter gave no explanation of his reasoning, other than vague jabs about “integrity” and the “misuse of this panel” during the last two Congressional terms.
Schiff was quick to offer clarification that what McCarthy means is that the GOP Speaker is upset that he, Swalwell, and others, tried to hold Trump and his allies accountable.
Addressing Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, McCarthy wrote:
“I appreciate the loyalty you have to your Democratic colleagues but…I cannot simply recognize years of service for membership on this essential committee. Integrity matters more.”
You can see his entire letter in his tweet below, or in full size at the bottom of this page.
I have rejected the appointments of Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell for the House Intelligence Committee.
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) January 25, 2023
This desire for ‘integrity’ didn’t stop McCarthy from seating George Santos (R-NY), whose shady history even McCarthy admits raises concerns, on two committees, either.
Santos netted a seat on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, as well as on the panel dedicated to Small Business — perhaps a concern for an individual who is already being questioned about how he funded his campaign.
His notions of ‘integrity’ also don’t appear to have given him any incentive to simply tell reporters, only hours ahead of this letter, that he was rejecting the Democrats’ nominees, either.
this guy just appointed Marjorie Taylor Greene to the coronavirus subcommittee pic.twitter.com/BuR2nItVKv
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 25, 2023
Schiff posted a response, saying that this was McCarthy’s punishment for standing up to him when he and Trump “tried to tear down our democracy,” and promising to keep fighting.
BREAKING NEWS: Kevin McCarthy just kicked me off the House Intelligence Committee.
And here’s why: I fought him and Donald Trump when they tried to tear down our democracy.
If he thinks this will stop me, he will soon find out differently.
— Adam Schiff (@AdamSchiff) January 25, 2023
Swalwell also responded, saying that McCarthy’s rejection is based on lies, and also assuring that he’s “not going away.”
This rejection is based on a claim that the Washington Post independent-fact checker gave 4 Pinocchios. Speaker Boehner and Ryan, both Gang of 8 members, appointed me to Intel with access to the same facts McCarthy is distorting. He can keep me off Intel, but I’m not going away. https://t.co/YQZOVCSJpO
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) January 25, 2023
See McCarthy’s full letter below:Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.