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U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) reintroduced legislation Thursday titled the “PENCIL Act” that would call to ban fellow Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) from handling any classified information.
Gaetz derived the resolution acronym, “Preventing Extreme Negligence with Classified Information Licenses,” from former President Donald Trump, who first called Schiff “little pencil neck” during a rally in 2019.
“Congressman Adam Schiff led the effort for years to weaponize lies from the Clinton campaign and a corrupt Department of Justice to smear President Trump while destroying any trust the country had left in America’s intelligence agencies,” Gaetz told The Daily Caller, which first obtained the legislation text.
Gaetz reintroducing the legislation comes two days after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) formally booted two high-profile Democrats from the House Intelligence Committee — Schiff and fellow California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell.
“Speaker McCarthy kept his promise to remove Rep. Schiff from the Intelligence Committee, and with the PENCIL Resolution, we will express the sense of Congress that he should be barred from accessing any classified information at all,” Gaetz added. “He can no longer be trusted by his colleagues in Congress or the American people.”
McCarthy has the unilateral authority to block members from the House Intelligence Committee as speaker.
McCarthy vowed to bump Schiff and Swalwell from the perches they held for years. McCarthy has also talked about removing Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the Foreign Affairs Committee, but that would take a House floor vote.
Schiff posted on the Chinese-owned TikTok app after McCarthy removed him from the House Intelligence Committee, saying the speaker pulled him “for doing my job, for holding Trump accountable and standing up to the extreme MAGA Republicans.”
Schiff denied taking classified information while speaking with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who asked if he had taken any records home while serving on the committee.
“This is what’s so astounding, I think, for all of us on the Intelligence Committee,” Schiff said. “I never take classified documents to my house.”
“I don’t know any reason why people would,” Schiff added.
Following the removal of Schiff and Swalwell, former Trump administration official Mike Pompeo accused Schiff of leaking classified information.
“During my time as CIA director and secretary of state, I know that he leaked classified information that had been provided to him,” Pompeo said, adding when the administration provided information to Schiff and his staff, such documents “ended up in places it shouldn’t have been with alarming regularity.”
Daniel Chaitin contributed to this report.