On Thursday (January 12), House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA.) reiterated his promise to keep high-profile Democrats — California Representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell — out of the House Intelligence Committee.
Schiff and Swalwell were integral figures in former President Donald Trump’s impeachment attempts, creating enemies among Republicans.
For months, McCarthy promised to remove the two from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), a warning that began after Democrats stripped Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Paul Gosar (Az.) of their committee assignments in the previous Congress.
With Republicans holding the majority, McCarthy expressed he wouldn’t be backing down.
Speaking to reporters at the Capitol, McCarthy insisted that he is bringing the Intelligence Committee “back to the jurisdiction it’s supposed to do,” explaining that the Committee should be “forward-looking” with politics kept out of the panel’s agenda.
Schiff, the Intelligence Committee’s former chairman, earned the ire of the GOP when he investigated the former President’s ties to Russia. McCarthy has insisted that Schiff lied to the public regarding the depth of the affiliation.
McCarthy has also accused Schiff — who was the lead manager in Trump’s first impeachment case — of exaggerating the claim that Trump used U.S. Military aid to pressure Ukraine’s leaders into investigating his political adversaries.
Swalwell earned the ire of Republicans after an Axios report in 2020, which revealed he had a suspected Chinese spy fundraising for his 2014 reelection campaign.
McCarthy explained his decision to remove Swalwell, saying that an FBI briefing was behind his reluctance to put Swalwell on any Committee.
However, Swalwell insists McCarthy’s decision is based on “vengeance,” given his role as lead manager in Trump’s second impeachment trial.