Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is bouncing three top Democrats, including one who allegedly had an affair with a Chinese spy and another who pushed the Trump-Russia collusion hoax, from plum committees.
McCarthy, who took the gavel from Nancy Pelosi after the GOP eked out a majority in the November midterms, is wasting no time following through on pledges he made in November. California Democrats Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell were booted from the House Intelligence Committee, and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has repeatedly been accused of anti-Semitism, is off the Foreign Affairs Committee, McCarthy told The Associated Press Monday night.
“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 in November. “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 denied reports that he had an affair nearly 10 years ago with Fang Fang, who posed as a political supporter but was later revealed to be a Chinese spy. Schiff became a fixture on far-left cable news networks during the Mueller probe of former President Trump, insisting he had seen classified evidence that linked Trump to the Kremlin.
Omar, a Somali refugee and member of the so-called “Squad,” has repeatedly been accused of anti-Semitism, including for a 2019 tweet in which she suggested Jews buy political clout.
Republicans are poised to take charge of all House committees, although with the Senate in Democrat hands and President Joe Biden in the White House, they may not be able to pass meaningful legislation. A Republican steering committee has assigned chairmanships, with several of the House’s more conservative members landing key roles.
Missouri Rep. Jason Smith will chair the powerful House Ways and Means Committee; Tennessee Rep. Mark Green the Homeland Security Committee; Texas Rep. Jodey Arrington the Budget Committee. In addition, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan is widely expected to chair the Judiciary Committee. Green and Jordan have previously identified themselves as members of the House Freedom Caucus, a conservative group of 35-40 Republicans that does not divulge its membership.