McCarthy plans to block Democrats Swalwell and Schiff from the House Intelligence Committee

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WASHINGTON — GOP Chairman Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday he would not put fellow California Representatives Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff on the House Intelligence Committee, fulfilling a promise he made to conservatives on the campaign track.

“I will put national security before party politics,” he said at a news conference.

McCarthy has said that Swalwell probably is would be denied a private sector security clearance and accused Schiff of lying to the public, claiming they are not fit to serve on the committee that handles classified information.

Democrats speak of political revenge. Both California Democrats served on the panel during the last Congress, and Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, DN.Y., has asked for renomination. Unlike most standing committees, the speaker chooses who sits on the Select Intelligence Committee.

McCarthy said it’s not political and that Schiff and Swalwell could be on other committees, but not on intelligence.

GOP House Chairman Kevin McCarthy

Why doesn’t McCarthy put Schiff and Swalwell down?

Before being elected speaker, McCarthy said he would not put Schiff on the intelligence committee, claiming he lied to Americans as chair of the panel that led former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment in 2019.

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McCarthy said he would not seat Swalwell because of the congressman’s previous ties to a suspected Chinese spy.

In 2021, McCarthy first called for Swalwell to be removed from the committee, but the Democrat-led House largely rejected the move along party lines.

Why Democrats say McCarthy’s move with Schiff and Swalwell is revenge

Representatives Adam Schiff, D-Calif., left, and Eric Swalwell, California Democrats, on May 28, 2019, in Washington.

Representatives Adam Schiff, D-Calif., left, and Eric Swalwell, California Democrats, on May 28, 2019, in Washington.

Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries said in a letter on Saturday McCarthy each denial of seats “goes against the serious and level-headed mission of the Intelligence Commission.

He also contrasted the removal of Schiff and Swalwell with the removal of GOP Representatives Paul Gosar of Arizona and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia during the last convention.

The Democrat-led House, with the help of some Republicans, voted in the final session to remove Gosar and Greene from committees.

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Restored Republicans: Greene, Gosar was reinstated to committees by the GOP-led House after Democrats removed them

The comparison with Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar

Gosar was censored and removed from committees in November 2021 after posting an animated video depicting the violence against Biden and the assassination of Progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He was stripped of his seats on the Natural Resources and Oversight & Reform committees.

Greene was removed in February 2021 due to a number of inflammatory social media posts. She had embraced and created QAnon conspiracy theories past comments that the September 11, 2001 attacks did not happen. She was ousted from seats on the Budget Committee and the Education and Labor panel.

Rep.  Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., takes a selfie with newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Jan. 6, 2023.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., takes a selfie with newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Jan. 6, 2023.

Both Greene and Gosar have been reinstated to committees in the new Republican-led House.

Jeffries argued in his letter to McCarthy that “a bipartisan vote of the House deemed them unfit to serve on standing committees for directly inciting violence against their colleagues.”

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In contrast, Schiff and Swalwell “never exhibited violent thoughts or behavior.”

What McCarthy said to Jeffries in a letter

McCarthy formally responded to Jeffries Tuesday evening in a lettertelling him “integrity is more important” than seniority on the committee and that he rejects Schiff and Swalwell.

“It is my assessment that the abuse of this panel during the 116th and 117th Congress seriously undermined its primary national security and oversight mission, ultimately making our country less safe.” McCarthy said in the letter.

He said he is determined to return the committee “to one of genuine honesty and credibility that will win back the trust of the American people.”

In a response released late Tuesday, Schiff said McCarthy kicked off the commission because “I fought him and Donald Trump when they tried to tear down our democracy. If he thinks this will stop me, he’ll soon change it.” find out.”

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Candy Woodall is a conference reporter for USA TODAY. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @candynotcandace.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: McCarthy: Swalwell, Schiff will not serve on House Intelligence panel

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