Why are Schiff, Swalwell, and Omar on McCarthy’s hit list to lose committee assignments?

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, of Calif., speaks at an annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher) John Locher/AP

Why are Schiff, Swalwell, and Omar on McCarthy’s hit list to lose committee assignments?

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is threatening to remove a handful of Democrats from their committee assignments once the GOP takes control of the House in January should the California Republican be elected House speaker.

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, McCarthy said he would remove Democratic Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) from their positions on the House Intelligence Committee, accusing the two lawmakers of being untrustworthy. His comments come just one day after the House minority leader announced his intent to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the Foreign Affairs Committee, following through with warnings he made previously that some Democrats would be ousted from their positions in a Republican-led House.


“Eric Swalwell cannot get a security clearance in the public sector. Why would we ever give him a security clearance in the secrets to America? So I will not allow him to be on Intel,” McCarthy said. “You have Adam Schiff, who had lied to the American public time and again. We will not allow him to be on the Intel Committee either.”

Swalwell has been under scrutiny by Republicans after it was reported in 2020 that a suspected Chinese spy had developed relations with the California Democrat in what U.S. officials believe was an extensive political intelligence operation run by China between 2011 and 2015. A spokesperson for Swalwell said at the time he had not interacted with the operative in roughly six years, and the California Democrat has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Schiff has also been a target of the GOP over the last several years after he led hearings for former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial, during which the former president was accused of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Schiff has continued to elicit the ire of the GOP with his position on the Jan. 6 committee, an investigation Republicans have denounced as politically motivated.

McCarthy will also seek to remove “Squad” member Omar from her seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, accusing the Minnesota Democrat of making antisemitic comments in the past. Omar, who was first elected in 2018, has ignited a series of controversies over her anti-Israel positions and has faced other accusations of antisemitism over specific comments.

“I remember what she said about the [U.S.-Israel] relationship. I remembered it so much, I promised you last year she would no longer be on Foreign Affairs,” McCarthy said during the Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2022 leadership meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, over the weekend. “I’m keeping that promise.”

Omar responded to McCarthy’s pledge, decrying it as an example of the Republican Party’s use of “fear, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and racism” to target her influence.

“Whether it is Marjorie Taylor Greene holding a gun next to my head in campaign ads or Donald Trump threatening to ‘send me back’ to my country (despite the fact that I have been a proud citizen of the United States for more than 20 years), this constant stream of hate has led to hundreds of death threats and credible plots against me and my family. At the same time, they have openly tolerated antisemitism, anti-Muslim hate and racism in their own party,” she said in a statement. “If [McCarthy] cared about addressing the rise in hate, he would apologize and make sure others in his party apologized.”


McCarthy’s pledge to remove high-profile Democrats from their committee positions follows through with a promise the House minority leader made in January after Democrats voted to oust Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) from their assignments for allegedly encouraging political violence.

Republicans are set to take control of the House in January after winning a narrow majority in the lower chamber last week. McCarthy has already won a conference vote to remain party leader but must win a majority vote on the House floor in January before becoming speaker.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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