Kevin McCarthy boots Democrats Schiff and Swalwell from House Intelligence Committee, and they are outraged: 'Integrity matters more'

January 24, 2023
Photo (left): Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images; Photo (center): Zach Gibson/Getty Images; Photo (right): Win McNamee/Getty Images

Newly elected Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy rejected the nominations of Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, both of California, to the House Intelligence Committee and they expressed their outrage on social media.

" I have rejected the appointments of Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell for the House Intelligence Committee," wrote McCarthy. "I am committed to returning the @HouseIntel Committee to one of genuine honesty and credibility that regains the trust of the American people."

The speaker said in his letter that both Schiff and Swalwell had made the country less safe through their previous actions on the intelligence committee. He also referenced Swalwell's relationship with an alleged Chinese spy and Schiff's insistence on pushing the Russian collusion conspiracy theory.

"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," wrote McCarthy.

"It is my assessment that the misuse of this panel during the 116th and 117th Congressses severely undermined its primary national security and oversight missions — ultimately leaving our nation less safe," he concluded.

Schiff responded by slinging his own accusations against McCarthy.

"Kevin McCarthy just kicked me and @RepSwalwell off the Intelligence Committee," he responded.

\u201cKevin McCarthy just kicked me and @RepSwalwell off the Intelligence Committee.\n\nThis is petty, political payback for investigating Donald Trump.\n\nIf he thinks this will stop me, he will soon find out just how wrong he is. \n\nI will always defend our democracy.\u201d

"This is petty, political payback for investigating Donald Trump," Schiff added. "If he thinks this will stop me, he will soon find out just how wrong he is. I will always defend our democracy."

Swalwell relied on a Pinocchio rating from the Washington Post to register his outrage.

"This rejection is based on a claim that the Washington Post independent-fact checker gave 4 Pinocchios," he tweeted.

"Speaker Boehner and Ryan, both Gang of 8 members, appointed me to Intel with access to the same facts McCarthy is distorting. He can keep me off Intel, but I’m not going away," he added.

McCarthy also announced the creation of two select subcommittees, one to investigate the Weaponization of the Federal Government and another to probe whether the government's gain-of-function research contributed to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here's more about McCarthy's intel moves:

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  • House minority report: 'Plausible' that Chinese military possessed COVID-19 prior to pandemic 'as part of bioweapons research' ›
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  • Kevin McCarthy vows to boot Ilhan Omar from committee assignment over 'antisemitic and anti-American' remarks ›