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McCarthy Officially Dumps Schiff, Swalwell from Intelligence Committee

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said he was going to do it, and we believed him. Now, it's official—the Speaker will exercise his prerogative to veto members from select committees, and so will be removing Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell (both D-CA) from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where they have served since 2008 and 2015, respectively.

The official reason for booting Swalwell is his association with a Chinese spy, although he's been exonerated by law enforcement, who say the Representative had no knowledge of the spy's true identity. The official reason for booting Schiff is that he took seriously the Steele dossier, and said as much on TV and in committee hearings. Of course, much of the Steele dossier was correct and, in any event, Schiff had a good faith belief that looking at the dossier was a legitimate line of inquiry. At least as legitimate as looking at the abandoned laptop of a president's son, certainly.

The real reason for tossing the duo, of course, is to "own the libs," and to avenge Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who were tossed from their committees during the 117th Congress for promoting violence against their colleagues. The two situations aren't especially similar, and even some Republican members of the House are saying as much. Both Reps. Nancy Mace (R-SC) and Victoria Spartz (R-IN) spoke out yesterday against McCarthy's maneuvering.

The Speaker's next target is Rep. Ilhan Omar (DFL-MN); he wants to remove her from the Foreign Affairs Committee. Hoever, Foreign Affairs is a regular standing committee, so McCarthy cannot execute the maneuver entirely of his own volition. Nope, it will take a majority vote of the whole House, which means nearly the entire House Republican Conference would have to back the Speaker's play. That vote should give us some very interesting information about exactly how many GOP members support this little game of tit-for-tat. Of course, if a vote is somehow never held, that also tells us something significant. (Z)

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