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‘Will Not Be Quiet!’: Swalwell Loses It After McCarthy Blocks Him from Intel Committee

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The Democrats that have been removed from some committees by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are continuing to whine about it.

Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell joined Rep. Adam Schiff to complain about being removed from his committee.

“We will not be quiet,” he said to reporters. “We’re not going away. I think he will regret giving all three of us more time on our hands. But at the end of the day our mission is to restore the credibility and integrity of this institution of which the Speaker has so gravely, so gravely smashed and destroyed.”

It came after Schiff complained about being removed from the committees.

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“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,” he said on Twitter.

McCarthy delivered on a previous pledge to bar two members of California’s Democratic congressional delegation from serving on the Select Committee on Intelligence.

The California Republican blocked Schiff and Swalwell from the panel, fulfilling a promise he made before the midterm elections to remove them should the GOP win back the House majority and make him speaker.

“House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) had written to McCarthy on Saturday asking that both Schiff and Swalwell be seated on the Intel panel, where membership assignments come solely at the discretion of the Speaker,” The Hill reported.

However, McCarthy countered that previous actions by both lawmakers have made them unqualified to serve on such a sensitive committee.

“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 responded to Jeffries on Tuesday.

The Hill added:

Republicans have been up in arms over the issue since 2021, when Democrats staged votes to remove GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.) from their committees following revelations that they had promoted violence against some of their Democratic colleagues. The eviction votes came after McCarthy declined to punish either lawmaker internally within the GOP conference, which is typically where such disciplinary actions are meted out.

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Still, McCarthy on Tuesday denied that his decision regarding Schiff and Swalwell was retribution for Greene and Gosar.

“This is not anything political. This is not similar to what the Democrats did,” McCarthy told reporters late Tuesday afternoon outside his Capitol Hill office.

Schiff, who led several Democratic investigations into Donald Trump, repeatedly claimed, without evidence, that the former president colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton. Republicans have also accused him of leaking sensitive and oftentimes false information to the media several times during Trump’s term.

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Swalwell, meanwhile, had a relationship with a suspected Chinese spy who helped him raise money for his 2014 campaign, though none of that was known until 2020. McCarthy says that a confidential briefing given to him by the FBI on the matter left him convinced that Swalwell is compromised and a risk to national security.

“When Eric Swalwell would be in the private sector and can’t get the security clearance there, we are not gonna provide him with the secrets to America,” McCarthy told reporters.

In addition, the Speaker has vowed to bar Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee over several anti-Semitic statements she has made regarding Israel. But while House members serve on the Intelligence Committee at the pleasure of the Speaker, Republicans would have to vote to remove Omar from her assignment, and with a thin majority, that is not assured.

In fact, McCarthy already has one defector and possibly more: “Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) announced Tuesday that she will not support keeping Omar off the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) has expressed a coolness to the idea,” The Hill noted.

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It’s also not clear when a vote to remove Omar will occur.

“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,” the three Democrats said in a joint statement. “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.”

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