Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has formally removed Democrat Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) from their powerful Intelligence Committee roles.
In a letter to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, McCarthy dealt the final blow to Schiff and Swalwell’s hope of keeping their coveted committee assignments.
McCarthy has long vowed to remove the two congressmen from the Intel Committee due to concerns about their integrity.
Jeffries had written to McCarthy in a final ditch attempt to try and persuade the speaker to reconsider the move.
McCarthy stuck by his guns, however.
“Dear Leader Jeffries, Thank you for your letter dated January 21, 2023, regarding Representatives Schiff and Swalwell,” McCarthy wrote.
“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.
“But I cannot put partisan loyalty ahead of national security, and I cannot simply recognize years of service as a sole criteria for membership on this essential committee.
“Integrity matters more,” the speaker asserted.
“As such, in order to maintain a standard worthy of this committee’s responsibilities, I am here by rejecting the appointments of Representative Adam Schiff and Representative Eric Swalwell to serve on the Intelligence Committee.
“It is my assessment that the misuse of this panel during the 116th and 117th Congress 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 retains the trust of the American people,” he wrote.
I have rejected the appointments of Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell for the House Intelligence Committee.
I am committed to returning the @HouseIntel Committee to one of genuine honesty and credibility that regains the trust of the American people. pic.twitter.com/ePxlbanxta
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) January 25, 2023
McCarthy told reporters earlier:
“This is not anything political.
“This is not similar to what the Democrats did.”
Kevin McCarthy just kicked me and @RepSwalwell off the Intelligence Committee.
This is petty, political payback for investigating Donald Trump.
If he thinks this will stop me, he will soon find out just how wrong he is.
I will always defend our democracy.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 25, 2023