House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday that he will block California Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from appointments to the House Intelligence Committee, according to The Washington Post.
“This is not anything political,” McCarthy, R-California, told reporters Tuesday.
“This is not similar to what the Democrats did. Those members will have other committees, but the Intel Committee, the Intel Committee’s responsibility” is national security, he said. “… I respect Hakeem Jeffries’s support of his conference and his people. But integrity matters.”
Minority Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-New York, sent a letter to McCarthy asking that the two be put on the committee.
“I urge you to honor 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 Ranking Member and Eric Swalwell to continue his service as a Member of the Intelligence Committee.”
Schiff told reporters that McCarthy is “carrying the dirty water” for former President Donald Trump by blocking him from the committee. Schiff was one of the impeachment managers for Trump’s first impeachment trial.
McCarthy has said Swalwell likely would be denied a security clearance in the private sector following a report that he was targeted by a suspected Chinese spy, and accused Schiff of lying to the public during Trump’s impeachment hearing, claiming they are not fit to serve on the committee that handles classified information.
Both Schiff and Swalwell sent letters to the Steering and Policy Committee earlier this month complaining that McCarthy has no basis for removing any Democrats from committees.
McCarthy promised to block the two from the committee after former speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, stripped two Republican members – Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Georgia, and Paul Gosar, Arizona – from their committee assignments after she said they embraced the violence that took place on Jan. 6, 2021, at the US Capitol.
Jefferies, in his letter to McCarthy, tried to distinguish between Greene’s and Gosar’s removal noting that they had promoted violent actions against Democrats.
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