Three Democrats whom House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) removed from their committee seats claim they are victims of political revenge.
“Kevin McCarthy just kicked me and @RepSwalwell off the Intelligence Committee,” announced Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) in a Tuesday Twitter post. “This is petty, political payback for investigating Donald Trump.”
Schiff declared unseating him from the House Intelligence Committee will not stop him. “I will always defend our democracy,” he added to his post.
Fox News further reported:
Reps. Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, and Ilhan Omar, who were stripped of their committee assignments by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, have accused him of “political vengeance” in a statement Tuesday evening after he again blocked their appointments.
“It’s disappointing but not surprising that Kevin McCarthy has capitulated to the right wing of his caucus, undermining the integrity of the Congress, and harming our national security in the process,” said Schiff, D-Calif., Swalwell, D-Calif., and Omar, D-Minn., in a joint statement.
The statement is the latest exchange in an ongoing tiff between McCarthy, R-Calif., and the three Democrats after he removed them from choice committee assignments after Republicans took over the majority, and he was elected Speaker.
“He struck a corrupt bargain in his desperate, and nearly failed, attempt to win the Speakership, a bargain that required political vengeance against the three of us,” the Democrats continued in the letter.
Immediately following his decision, Schiff, Swalwell and Omar asked McCarthy to reconsider, but he did not.
“Despite these efforts, McCarthy won’t be successful. We will continue to speak out against extremism and doggedly defend our democracy,” the Democratic trio said.
After the three Democrats were unsuccessful in convincing McCarthy to reinstate their committee positions, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., the highest-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, vouched for them.
In a letter, Jeffries said the legislators were “eminently qualified” and had experience justifying a position overseeing the nation’s intelligence community. Schiff and Swalwell previously served on the House Intelligence Committee while Omar served on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
That letter also failed to convince McCarthy, who said in an open letter that “national security” and “integrity” matter more than “partisan loyalty.”
“I appreciate the loyalty you have to your Democrat colleagues, and I acknowledge your efforts to have two Members of Congress reinstated to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence,” McCarthy wrote to Jeffries. “But I cannot put partisan loyalty ahead of national security, and I cannot simply recognize years of service as the sole criteria for membership to this essential committee. Integrity matters more.”
The Republican added, “As such, in order to maintain a standard worthy of this committee’s responsibilities, I am hereby rejecting the appointments of Representative Adam Schiff and Representative Eric Swalwell to serve on the intelligence committee.”
McCarthy also said, “It is my assessment that the misuse of this panel during the 116th and 117th Congresses severely undermined its primary national security and oversight missions – ultimately leaving our nation less safe.”
“Therefore, as we enter a new Congress, I am committed to returning the Intelligence Committee to one of genuine honesty and credibility that regains the trust of the American people,” the California Republican said.
McCarthy alleges Swalwell’s prior relationship with a suspected Chinese spy Christine Fang, Schiff’s alleged propensity for lying to Americans and Omar’s outspoken criticism of Israel would keep them off their respective committees.
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