Reps. Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff, D-Calif., blamed former President Trump as well as Russian influence for their being booted from their committee positions on Wednesday’s episode of MSNBC’s “The ReidOut.”
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy officially removed them from the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday evening, citing security concerns based on their past scandals.
Schiff and Swalwell condemned the decision with MSNBC host Joy Reid questioning whether there was any other reason for it besides their role in Trump’s impeachment hearings.
“I feel like you, in Kevin McCarthy’s mind, committed the greater crime, which was presiding over the impeachment of Donald Trump. I can’t find any legitimate reason why you would not be on this committee other than that. Can you?” Reid asked.
“No, I can’t,” Schiff answered. “I think this is an effort by McCarthy to please the boss down at Mar-a-Lago, to excite the right-wing base and to deliver payback to Marjorie Taylor Greene, who he is now fully indebted to for his speakership. But apart for what he’s doing to me or to Eric, it does damage to the Intelligence Committee to use it as a political plaything the way McCarthy is.”
Swalwell agreed, adding that Schiff “was a fearless leader throughout that impeachment and that’s why they’re targeting him” as well as himself and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“It’s the fact that we never flinched and we were fearless in our resolve to hold Donald Trump accountable. So, frankly, does it suck to not be on a committee that does such important work? Yes. It’s not about me, though. As Mr. Schiff said, it’s about who is now given access to top secret information and what it means to use political vengeance to exact revenge on your political opponents,” Swalwell said.
Reid further implied that there could be Russian influence on the GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee based on some members’ reluctance to spend more money funding the war in Ukraine.
“They’ve spoken in favor of the Russian side on an Intelligence Committee where I don’t know if these are people who are trustworthy with national security information. As you said, they could give that information to Donald Trump and God knows what else,” Reid said.
Swalwell agreed, “So, yes, we are concerned that, you know, there is a sympathy for or a desire to, you know, do Putin’s bidding instead of America’s and then you see more and more people in their conference voting against Ukraine funding or support for Ukraine and I think that’s a part of this corrupt bargain is that McCarthy has agreed to defund the troops by $75 billion because many on his side ask for that.”
Reid closed the segment by questioning whether there can be any involvement of the Justice Department regarding House Republicans and their support for Donald Trump.
“Given the fact that you now have essentially a Trump committee on the, essentially running the House again, through his supporters like Marjorie Greene and Kevin McCarthy, do you think that that puts more pressure on – should put more pressure on the Department of Justice to take action because obviously the threat is still live?” Reid asked.
“Well, I don’t think the committee itself is a reason for the Justice Department to act or not act. They have plenty of reason to act based on the pure evidence of Donald Trump’s complicity in multiple lines of effort to overturn the election, I think multiple violations of federal law. So they should move forward. They pledge to follow the evidence wherever it leads. It has led to Donald Trump. But they need to be aware this committee is designed to get in their way and they’re going to have to be prepared for that,” Schiff answered.