By Jack Phillips
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) confirmed Monday that he plans to remove Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) from their committee assignments.
McCarthy told The Associated Press on Monday that he will expel the three Democrats, coming months after he pledged to do so in June if Republicans took the majority in the House. Schiff had chaired the House Intelligence Committee, while Swalwell sat on the panel; Omar sat on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Swalwell can’t get a security clearance in the private sector,” he told AP and Punchbowl, likely referring to reports that he was targeted by a suspected Chinese spy. “I’m not going to give him a government security clearance. Schiff has lied to the American public. He should not be on Intel.”
“I made all three cases before. It’s not like it’s anything new… remember, this is what Nancy Pelosi, this is the type of Congress she wanted to have,” McCarthy told Punchbowl News, referring to the previous Democrat House speaker from California.
During the recent interviews, McCarthy did not say why Omar would be booted, although in November, the GOP said that she made anti-Semitic comments that warrant expulsion.
“The Democrats have created a new thing where they’re picking and choosing who can be on committees,” McCarthy told Breitbart News on Monday. “Never in the history of Congress have you had the majority tell the minority who can be on committee. But this new standard which these Democrats have voted for—if Eric Swalwell cannot get a security clearance in the private sector, there is no reason why he should be given one to be on Intel or Homeland Security. He will not be serving there.”
“Ilhan Omar should not be serving on Foreign Affairs,” McCarthy also told Breitbart, adding, “This is a new level of what the Democrats have done.”
Schiff, who was the lead House manager for former President Donald Trump’s 2019 impeachment trial, has criticized McCarthy for blocking him from serving on the House Intelligence Committee. In November, the California Democrat asserted that McCarthy “will do whatever Marjorie Taylor Greene wants him to do,” referring to the Georgia Republican.
“He is a very weak leader of his conference, meaning that he will adhere to the wishes of the lowest common denominator, and if that lowest common denominator wants to remove people from committees, that’s what they’ll do,” he told ABC News. “It’s going to be chaos with the Republican leadership, and sadly the crazy caucus has grown among the Republicans. Many Republicans who won primaries in deeply red districts are coming to Congress—like the Marjorie Taylor Greenes and Paul Gosars.”
In a Twitter post last year, Schiff alleged McCarthy “has no ideology, no core set of beliefs” and, as a result, “he will do whatever they ask, and remove me from the Intel Committee for holding Trump accountable” so he could be elected House speaker. Last week, McCarthy was confirmed speaker after 15 rounds of voting that spanned several days.
During the Trump administration, Schiff, who often sparred with Trump, was accused of fabricating and leaking information pertaining to the Russian collusion narrative. The former president in late 2019, amid the first impeachment inquiry, asserted that Schiff “lied to Congress” when he “fraudulently” changed the words of a transcript between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Notably, in 2021, the House voted to deny Reps. Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Gosar (R-Ariz.) of committee seats. The vote in early 2021 was 230–199, with 11 Republicans joining Democrats, after her past comments.
That year, McCarthy forced a vote to eject Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee amid reports about him being close to a Chinese spy. The vote ultimately failed in a party-line vote.
During an interview with MSNBC on Sunday, Omar was asked whether she learned of any developments on if she’d be removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee. Omar said she hasn’t heard anything.
“I have not,” Omar said. “It’s my understanding that we obviously have to get the rules package done. Hopefully Monday, when we reconvene, that is on top of the agenda, and then the different caucuses, our caucus and their conference, will make appointments to committees, and then we will go from there.”