McCarthy denies Schiff and Swalwell’s attemps to return to Intel Committee

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has denied an attempt by Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) to return to the House Intelligence Committee.

McCarthy followed through on his vow to remove the two congressmen from the committee in his Monday rejection.

The statement

“I appreciate the loyalty you have to your Democrat colleagues, and I acknowledge your efforts to have two Members of Congress reinstated to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence,” McCarthy wrote.

“But I cannot put partisan loyalty ahead of national security, and I cannot simply recognize years of service as the sole criteria for membership on this essential committee. Integrity matters more,” he continued.

“As such, 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,” he added.

The background

“Swalwell reportedly had ties to suspected Chinese spy Christine Fang, also known as Fang Fang. The allegations were first reported by Axios in December 2020 and prompted House Republicans to remove Swalwell from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence,” Fox News reported.

“As for Schiff, McCarthy has stated that the legislator has lied too many times to the American public. Schiff was one of the Democrats’ lead spokesmen on the explosive accusations that former President Donald Trump colluded with Russia in the run-up to the 2020 election,” it added.

Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) had submitted nominations to reinstate the two men prior to McCarthy’s rejection, refusing to back down to their removal.

McCarthy’s reason for the rejection was clear. He viewed the two congressmen as national security risks for the committee in a strong rebuke to the history of Schiff and Swalwell.

The battle will likely continue, but the decision appears final that their time on the committee is over for now.

Democrats will need to move on to a backup plan to find ways to influence the committee and stay involved as Republicans lead with a new majority in the House.