Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is not impressed by an insistence from House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) that the California Democrat and current chairperson of the House Intelligence Committee shouldn’t be on that panel at all. McCarthy indicated that Republicans would remove Schiff from the committee in the event that the party retakes the majority in the chamber, complaining to high heaven about Democrats having employed committee removal against two Republicans in the House — but Schiff explained that the problem is that Democrats were the ones left handling accountability for those Republican members after McCarthy refused to take substantive action.
House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff, responding to Kevin McCarthy’s threat to kick him off his committee in a GOP majority, told me: “I think he's responding to what Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar are demanding.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 11, 2022
The Republicans in question are Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.), both of whom were removed from their committee roles by a vote in the full House after individual instances of the duo apparently offering support to violence. In Greene’s case, past social media activity of hers resurfaced indicating previous support on her part for executing prominent Democrats, while Gosar shared an edited, partly animated video depicting him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). And McCarthy hardly did anything. As Schiff shared:
‘I think the reality is McCarthy is a very weak leader. And as a result, he is already being led around by the most extreme elements of his conference — the Marjorie Taylor Greenes and others that are calling for retribution because of their removal. The departure from precedent here was McCarthy’s failure to hold his own members accountable, which, traditionally, Democratic leaders and Republican leaders have policed their own. But McCarthy’s been too weak to do that, and so it required Democrats to take action when Paul Gosar was glorifying the killing of one of his colleagues. And similarly, when Marjorie Taylor Greene was spouting her conspiratorial QAnon and anti-Semitic stuff. So, you know — I think the precedent has been broken here; it’s been broken by McCarthy.’
Pointedly, Schiff added that McCarthy “will do whatever Donald Trump wants him to do, and if Donald Trump wants him to overturn the next election because Trump loses again, McCarthy will do it, and that is a real and present threat to our democracy.” McCarthy could be Speaker if Republicans retake the House majority. Watch Schiff’s comments below:
McCarthy also named Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) as targets of a potential Republican majority in the House. Swalwell is a member of the intelligence panel, while Omar serves as part of the House Foreign Affairs Committee — and both have been repeated targets of perpetually aggrieved Republicans. McCarthy is not in a position to authoritatively speak about precedents when — for the most part — he hasn’t even bothered trying to tamp down on support for extremism on his side of the aisle. On the recent first anniversary of the Capitol riot, he could have issued a statement going against extremism, violence, or some combination thereof — but he did not appear to do so.
House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries: "With respect to Kevin McCarthy, does anyone take this guy seriously on any issue — particularly as it relates to ethics?"
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 12, 2022