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Schiff, Swalwell, and Omar say McCarthy will 'regret' booting them from committees

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 1/25/2023 Juliegrace Brufke

Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff (CA), Eric Swalwell (CA), and Ilhan Omar (MN) railed against Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) efforts to remove them from committee assignments, arguing that the move will backfire on Republicans in the long run.

McCarthy rejected House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’s (D-NY) selection of Schiff, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Swalwell from sitting on the powerful select committee on Tuesday evening, arguing that Swalwell’s connection with an alleged Chinese spy in 2014 compromises his ability to serve and that Schiff intentionally misled the public while leading the investigations into former President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. Both lawmakers have denied any wrongdoing.


The California Republican has also vowed to hold a vote to remove Omar from her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which would require the passage of a resolution on the floor in the coming days, based on her previous inflammatory comments about Israel.

The group slammed the move as an act of “political vengeance” in response to Democrats and a handful of GOP lawmakers voting to remove conservative Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) from their committees after a string of controversies during the last Congress.

Swalwell asserted that the FBI has stated multiple times that he was never suspected of any wrongdoing and cooperated with the proper channels, adding that he believes the move will ultimately help Democrats take back the majority.

“Throughout this journey of vengeance, the three of us have chosen to stick together because this isn't about any individual committee assignment, this is about an institution,” he told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday, adding that he believes McCarthy will “regret giving all three of us more time on our hands.”

Reps. Ilhan Omar, Adam Schiff, and Eric Swalwell. (AP Photos) © Provided by Washington Examiner Reps. Ilhan Omar, Adam Schiff, and Eric Swalwell. (AP Photos)

Schiff argued that McCarthy is caving to the extreme members of his party and said his vow indicates he will have a “weak” speakership.

“This decision by Kevin McCarthy to bow to the demand from the most extreme elements of his conference and use the Intelligence Committee for this kind of political play doesn't show the strength of his speakership; indeed, it shows the weakness of his speakership,” he said.

Omar defended her tenure on the committee, noting that she apologized for what was criticized by both sides of the aisle as antisemitic remarks two Congresses ago.

“It is about revenge, it's about appeasing the former president,” Omar said, adding that the two GOP members removed during the last Congress used rhetoric that was perceived as threatening against Democrats.

Multiple GOP lawmakers have voiced reluctance to support a resolution to vote to remove Omar despite disagreeing with her politics, with the Minnesota Democrat casting doubt that the measure would pass.

“I do believe that when and if this vote comes, it will be a moment of clarity, and I hope that many of these Rs will have conscience and will not prove to their constituents and the American people just how much of partisan hacks they are and how much hypocrisy they have,” she continued.

All three Democrats argued that the decision to place embattled GOP Rep. George Santos (R-NY) on committees despite coming under fire for lying about large portions of his background demonstrates hypocrisy.

“The hypocrisy just grabs you by the throat, this is a Republican speaker who is seating a human fraud, George Santos, on committees, a serial fabricator about every part of his existence,” Schiff said.

Republicans, meanwhile, have largely stood by McCarthy’s call to remove Schiff and Swalwell from the Intelligence Committee.


“They're very specific things that they've done in their time here in Congress. I don't even think Swalwell could get a security clearance in the private sector. So, why should he be on the Intelligence Committee?” House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) told reporters on Wednesday.

“I mean, these committees are very unique in that they deal with our national secrets, they deal with very classified information. And if people have shown a propensity to either espouse anti-American, antisemitic views, things that have put themselves in a compromised position, including lying about classified information, it raises serious questions.”


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Tags: Kevin McCarthy, News, Ilhan Omar, Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, House Foreign Affairs, House Intelligence Committee, Washington D.C.

Original Author: Juliegrace Brufke

Original Location: Schiff, Swalwell, and Omar say McCarthy will 'regret' booting them from committees


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