OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is vowing to make more changes in the U.S. House of Representatives after kicking three controversial Democrats off of committees.
“I think what we should do is put into the rules that there is a code of conduct here, but I don’t know the definition, exactly what all that’s going to mean. I think that should be clear,” McCarthy told reporters.
“Let’s just put it in perspective of what the Democrats did and what Republicans are doing. So, the Democrats in the last Congress removed Republican members from all committees. They even judged one Republican member not based upon what she had said as a member of Congress, but what she said prior to ever getting here,” McCarthy said, referring to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
“I’m not removing people from all committees, and I’m not judging something that someone said when they’re not a member of Congress,” McCarthy added.
The whining has continued from Democrat Reps. Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, and Ilhan Omar after they were booted from their committees by McCarthy and House Republicans.
The three disgruntled Democrats appeared on the CNN show “State of the Union” where they spoke to host Dana Bash and attacked the Speaker.
“(Speaker McCarthy) says that this is part of the pattern. Ahead of the first Trump impeachment, you said the committee had not spoken to a whistle-blower. In fact, that turned out not to be true. You know The Washington Post said so in their fact-check,” the host said to Rep. Schiff.
“The Washington Post identified that, yes, before the person became a whistle-blower, they sought advice from the committee. When I was asked the question, I thought they were referring to whether we had brought the whistle-blower in. And I should have been more clear in my answer,” the representative said.
“But, again, let’s be clear what’s really going on here. McCarthy has said Adam Schiff prosecuted the case against Trump. Ukraine impeachment was a hoax. He’s given 15 explanations. The only real explanation is, he needs Marjorie Taylor Greene’s vote. He needs Paul Gosar’s vote. He wants to retaliate for their removal from the committee,” he said.
“And, apparently, he believes I was very effective in exposing his misconduct, Donald Trump’s misconduct. And that’s what they’re trying to stop. So, I think that he benefits from having these smears repeated. And that’s part of what he gains from it. But this is a pretext, and nothing more,” he said.
The host then questioned Rep. Swalwell on the reasons the Speaker gave for removing him.
“You were also removed by Republicans from the Intelligence Committee. What the speaker said about you is that, beginning in 2012, a suspected Chinese spy developed ties to you and to your office, even put an intern there, raised campaign funds for you,” the host said.
“You say very clearly you cut off ties with this person back in 2015 when you found out. You cooperated with the FBI. But the bottom line question is this. Did you put yourself in a vulnerable position in any way, so that this alleged Chinese spy could have benefited or even learned American secrets?” she said.
“Absolutely not. But, Dana, don’t take my word for it. Take the FBI’s word for it. They never talk about ongoing investigations. And former Chairman Schiff knows this, as a member of the Gang of Eight. Three different times, they came out and said two things. All I did was help them and, also, I was never under any suspicion of wrongdoing,” the representative said.
“But, more than that, Chairman — Speaker Boehner was briefed on this investigation. He could have removed me, just as Speaker McCarthy did. He didn’t. Devin Nunes was the chair of the Intelligence Committee, never made a public peep about this. Paul Ryan would have access to the same investigation, reappointed me to the committee,” he said.
“Donald Trump, who villainized me at every rally, more access to classified information than any person who walked the earth, if he could have weaponized that to go after me, you know he would have. There’s nothing there. I did what every American should have. This is some Bakersfield B.S. It’s Kevin McCarthy weaponizing his ability to commit this political abuse, because he perceives me, just like Mr. Schiff and Ms. Omar, as an effective political opponent,” he said.
It was then Rep. Omar on the hot seat.
“Congresswoman Omar, about what Republicans are saying about you, that there is a pattern of antisemitic and other controversial statements that make you unfit to sit on, in your case, the House Foreign Affairs Committee,” the host said.
Asked to weigh in on whether Ilhan Omar is in fact an antisemite who is unfit for HFA, both Swalwell and Schiff decline to criticize Omar, claim the antisemitism allegations are “bs” and change the subject to whatabout Trump.@CNNSotu #BigTentAntisemitismpic.twitter.com/0Q5p72IS2z
— Orbital tungsten rod sales🏹 (@razingarizona) January 29, 2023
“I’m told that Republicans presented a list in their meeting, in a private meeting, this past week. Included in that list is that you said that Israel hypnotized the world. You said Israel is an apartheid regime, that politicians with pro-Israel stance — stances were all about the Benjamins, which you very notably apologized for, that you support the BDS movement, which a lot of people think is rooted in antisemitism, compared the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban. I want to give you a chance to respond to all of that, which they say is a clear pattern,” she said.
“Yes, I might have used words at the time that. I didn’t understand were trafficking in antisemitism. When that was brought to my attention, I apologized. I owned up to it. That’s the kind of person that I am,” the representative said.