Dems name new members to combat GOP investigations — including Schiff

House Democrats are placing Rep. Adam Schiff on a high-profile committee at the center of combating Republican investigations for the next two years, fresh off Speaker Kevin McCarthy booting him from another panel.

The California Democrat is one of a roster of party fighters who will now serve on the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, with the full lineup of members approved by the House this week. Those Democrats will have to strategize how to counter to some of Republicans most high-profile and politically controversial probes, including into Hunter Biden and the Biden family, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and a broad sweep into the FBI and Justice Department.

Much of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic roster, led by ranking member Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), is a slimmed-down mirror of last year's line-up — besides the addition of Schiff, who officially launched a Senate bid last week shortly after McCarthy blocked him from the top party spot on the Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-Md.).

Democrats will get their first test run on pushing back against Republicans on the panel, chaired by McCarthy-antagonist-turned-ally Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), on Wednesday during the committee's first hearing, centered on the border. In addition to investigations, Democrats on the Judiciary Committee will be at the forefront of any impeachment inquiries, as Republicans have called for forcibly removing Mayorkas over his handling of the border.

Meanwhile, several new freshmen members have joined the Oversight Committee, including Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.), who was counsel to House Democrats during the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump.

The panel's Democrats also named Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) to serve as vice ranker, a possibility reported by POLITICO last week. It's a move that could be highly significant if Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) has to miss hearings as he undergoes cancer treatment.

The new members “have come from all over America to fight for their communities. Now they join the Democrats on the Oversight and Accountability Committee — the ‘Truth Squad’ — to conduct thorough and fact-based oversight to ensure an effective, efficient, and accountable American government that delivers for the American people,” Raskin said in a statement about Democrats’ line up.

Republicans on the Oversight Committee have vowed to investigate dozens of areas within the Biden administration. But they've signaled panel Republicans' main focus will be targeting President Joe Biden himself, primarily by delving into Hunter Biden’s business dealings and other members of the Biden family; the coronavirus pandemic, including federal government directives and the “origins” of the virus; the border, and the 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan.

And the panel includes some of the House GOP’s most right-leaning members, including Reps. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Scott Perry (R-Pa.), the chair of the House Freedom Caucus.

Democrats still need to pick their members for a Republican-run select subcommittee that will look into the “weaponization” of the federal government, a concession McCarthy made to conservatives in order to secure the speakership.

McCarthy unveiled the GOP picks for the panel last week, naming 11 Republicans plus Jordan to lead the sweeping committee — more members than expected. The House is expected to pass a resolution expanding the size of the subcommittee, which would proportionally boost the number of Democratic seats.

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CNN Gives Schiff, Swalwell, and Omar an Entire Panel to Continue Their Committee Removal Whining Tour

CNN offered Ilhan Omar, Eric Swalwell, and Adam Schiff an entire panel segment so they could continue whining about being removed from House committees by Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

By now, you all know the background. Swalwell has engaged in a reported relationship with a Chinese spy while Schiff has been accused of leaking classified information in order to propagate the Russia collusion hoax.

As such, he has rejected a bid to keep Schiff and Swalwell on the House Intelligence Committee and is seeking to do the same with Omar on the Foreign Affairs Committee due to a career’s worth of anti-Semitic comments.

CNN swooped in and offered all three a panel on “State of the Union” with host Dana Bash – not a single dissenting voice – to express their outrage for being removed from their committee assignments.

Because the press conference they held on the matter, Swalwell’s statements accusing the Speaker of trying to have them murdered, Schiff’s TikTok video, and the trio’s incessant tweeting on the perceived miscarriage of justice wasn’t enough publicity.

RELATED: Ilhan Omar Whines That Democrats Being Kicked Off Committees is a ‘Threat to National Security’

Claim They’re Being Targeted Because They’re Really Good at What They Do

All three Democrats took a swipe at McCarthy for removing or seeking to remove them from various committee assignments.

Swalwell called the Speaker’s actions “BS” and suggested he targeted them because he perceives all three to be “effective political opponent(s).”

Swalwell, aside from having an affair with a Chinese spy – allegedly – is best known for riding a camel shirtless in Qatar during the pandemic and blaming a mug for an extremely embarrassing live interview moment.

But yea, he’s effective.

Schiff suggested the whole thing was some sort of effort by McCarthy to protect former President Donald Trump and secure support from MAGA Republicans.

“The only real explanation is he needs Marjorie Taylor Greene’s vote, he needs Paul Gosar’s vote,” Schiff stated.

“He wants to retaliate for their removal from the committee, and apparently, he believes I was very effective in exposing … Donald Trump’s misconduct, and that’s what they’re trying to stop.”

RELATED: Swalwell Lashes Out After Learning McCarthy Will Remove Him, Ilhan Omar, and Adam Schiff from Committees

Schiff, Swalwell, and Omar Run Into Some Trouble Explaining Behavior That Led to Loss of Committee Assignments

Perhaps the triumvirate of weak Democrats thought an interview with CNN would go off without a hitch, but each congress member had to do some level of explaining as to the real reasons for the committee controversy.

Bash brought up Swalwell’s Chinese spy affair.

“Did you put yourself in a vulnerable position in any way, so that this alleged Chinese spy could have benefited or even learn American secrets?”

“Absolutely not,” Swalwell fired back adding that the FBI claimed, “All I did was help them, and also, I was never under any suspicion of wrongdoing.”

Bash pivoted to Schiff and pointed out he lied about not knowing who the whistleblower involved with the first Trump impeachment was.

“Ahead of the first Trump impeachment, you said the committee had not spoken to a whistle-blower,” Bash challenged. “In fact, that turned out not to be true. The Washington Post said so in their fact check.”

Schiff responded that he “should have been more clear in my answer.”

That’s an incredibly strange way of saying, ‘I lied and got caught doing so.’

The former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee also continued pushing the Russia collusion hoax, the very thing he’s accused of using classified information to help spread in an effort to take down Trump.

“To most Americans, that is collusion,” Schiff said referencing the famed Mueller report. “Now, whether it’s proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the crime of conspiracy … I have always distinguished between the two.”

Then it was Omar’s turn.

Bash brought up her history of anti-Semitic comments to which the Minnesota Democrat insisted she had no idea that suggesting pro-Israel politicians were “all about the Benjamins” and that Israel had “hypnotized” the world would be controversial.

“I might have used words at the time that I didn’t understand were trafficking in anti-semitism,” Omar asserted. “When that was brought to my attention, I apologized. I owned up to it.”

Where will the whining tour head next? Swalwell has insisted they are “not going away” and McCarthy will “regret giving all three of us more time on our hands.”

It’s clear the attention-starved Democrats will continue soaking up the media spotlight as long as they can.

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The House GOP’s investigations: A field guide

Kevin McCarthy has told House Republicans to treat every committee like the Oversight panel — that is, use every last bit of authority to dig into the Biden administration. That work begins in earnest this week.

Several sprawling probes — largely directed at President Joe Biden, his family and his administration — set the stage for a series of legal and political skirmishes between the two sides of Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s all with an eye on the true battle, the 2024 election, as Biden flirts with a reelection run and House Republicans hope to expand their control to the White House.

After two impeachments of former President Donald Trump and a select committee that publicly detailed his every last move to unsuccessfully overturn the 2020 election results, GOP lawmakers are eager to turn the spotlight. And their conservative base is hoping for fireworks, calling on Republican leaders to grill several Biden world figures, including Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, retired chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci and presidential son Hunter Biden.

But GOP leadership has to mind its swing-district members and centrists, whose jobs are on the line if the strategy backfires in 2024, as early calls to impeach Mayorkas have sparked grumbling in that camp. Striking the right balance will be a difficult lift, even without Democrats constantly blasting the investigations as revenge politics run amok.

Regardless, the GOP’s investigative firehose will leave few parts of the administration untouched. POLITICO has been chatting with lawmakers, aides and outside allies about Republicans’ plans. Here’s a field guide to navigating the investigative landscape, with hearings expected to start this week:

Biden Family

A top priority for Republicans is investigating Hunter Biden, with Joe Biden being the party’s ultimate target of the probe. GOP lawmakers are hunting for a smoking gun that will directly connect the president’s decisions to his son’s business dealings. No evidence has yet emerged to show that the clients taken on by Hunter Biden, who’s been under a years-long federal investigation, affected his father’s decisions as president.

The public phase of the Republican investigation will kick off on Feb. 8, with the Oversight Committee expected to hold a hearing on Twitter and its handling of a 2020 New York Post story on Hunter Biden. Twitter initially restricted users’ ability to share the article, with top officials characterizing the decision as a mistake in the aftermath.

House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) has invited testimony from three former employees — James Baker, former Twitter deputy general counsel; Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former global head of trust and safety; and Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s former chief legal officer. A GOP committee aide told POLITICO that they “expect” the former employees to testify. (POLITICO has not undergone the process to authenticate the Hunter Biden laptop that underpinned the New York Post story, but reporter Ben Schreckinger has confirmed the authenticity of some emails on it.)

Beyond that, Comer is re-upping questions to a gallery selling Hunter Biden’s art. The chair is also asking for Treasury Department Suspicious Activity Reports, or SARs, related to Hunter Biden and his associates. Those records are filed by financial institutions and don’t necessarily suggest wrongdoing but are frequently used as investigative leads.

Comer warned he is willing to subpoena the relevant records after Treasury rejected his initial request, saying it needed to engage in discussions with the committee about the thrust of its investigation.

The Kentuckian has vowed that his committee’s Hunter Biden investigation will be "credible," but GOP leadership’s decision to name some of the conference’s most conservative members to the committee, including Reps. Scott Perry (Pa.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), is raising fresh skepticism about that among Democrats and their allies.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) warned that the ascension of Oversight panel conservatives would "infect the credibility of the committee," including on investigations.

Mayorkas and the border

House Republicans will soon formally launch a multi-committee investigation into the nation’s southern border and DHS, all with an eye on Mayorkas.

The Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing on Feb. 1, focused on the border — with Republicans warning that it’s only “part one” of the public grilling. The Oversight Committee will follow suit during the following week of Feb. 6. Comer invited four Border Patrol officials to testify. In return DHS offered Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz and a member briefing with the four officials Comer asked for, sparking stonewalling accusations and threats of possible subpoenas from the GOP chair.

The GOP’s border hearings come as the party has struggled to reach a consensus about how to move forward legislatively, including a split between two Texas Republicans: Reps. Chip Roy, who’d prefer a more conservative approach, and the more centrist Tony Gonzales.

The border investigations also come as the party faces pressure from both its right flank and its base voters to take the historically rare step of trying to impeach Mayorkas.

Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) recently became the new majority’s first Republican to introduce an impeachment resolution, which targeted Mayorkas. A second group of Republicans, led by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), is expected to unveil impeachment articles against Mayorkas this week.

Justice Department/FBI

Republicans are planning to house a wide-ranging probe of the Justice Department and FBI under the Judiciary Committee and a new subcommittee — created as a concession to conservative detractors during the speaker’s race — focused on what the GOP calls the “weaponization” of the federal government.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a McCarthy antagonist-turned-ally who will chair both the committee and subpanel, has fired off a laundry list of requests to Attorney General Merrick Garland in addition to seeking hearings or transcribed interviews with more than a dozen DOJ officials.

Jordan has sent off a similarly lengthy letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray. He’s warned both that he’s ready to use subpoenas to get information if they don’t comply with his information requests.

Judiciary Republicans are likely to make Biden’s handling of classified documents and last summer’s FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence part of their sweeping DOJ oversight efforts. Two other panels are currently investigating the broader issue of classified document handling and related law enforcement activity: the Oversight and Intelligence Committees.

The Oversight Committee is requesting documents on the matter from the National Archives and has an interview with a top Archives official on the books this week, while the Intelligence Committee wants a security assessment.


After two years of Democratic-led investigations into the pandemic, Republicans are ready to shift the focus with probes of their own.

The Oversight Committee will hold its first hearing on Wednesday about the use of government funding on the coronavirus — homing in on a series of coronavirus relief bills that amounted to trillions of dollars in aid in total. Comer described his focus on coronavirus aid as an attempt to guide the committee toward rooting out “waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.”

But pandemic aid is a topic that the previous Democratic-led House has already visited. A select subcommittee in the previous Congress held a hearing last year with federal watchdogs in charge of overseeing pandemic aid funds.

In addition to investigations by the Oversight Committee, Republicans created their own select subcommittee on the pandemic. McCarthy is vowing that the new Covid panel will probe so-called “gain of function” research, which involves the intentional manipulation of viruses and pathogens in ways that could make them more deadly or contagious.

That goal connects to an unproven theory espoused by some Republicans that the coronavirus was intentionally created in a lab.

Foreign policy

House Republicans will also use their majority to delve into several foreign policy targets, as they seek to push back on the Biden administration’s decisions abroad.

The most prominent investigation so far stems from a new select committee designed to look at “strategic competition” between the U.S. and China, which is expected to be a major focus of the GOP national security agenda heading into 2024. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), who was tapped by McCarthy to lead that select panel, has said he’ll focus on supply chains, bolstering the U.S. military and privacy and social media — particularly TikTok.

The vote to set up the panel was largely bipartisan, but Democrats cautioned even as they voted for it that Republicans might steer the select committee toward conspiracy theories or xenophobic language.

Beyond China, GOP foreign policy investigations are likely to focus on two other areas: Afghanistan and Ukraine. The Biden administration’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 sparked bipartisan outrage, making it a prime target for the Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees.

Meanwhile, Republicans are also vowing tougher oversight of additional U.S. aid to Ukraine. That sets the stage for intra-party skirmishes between budget hawks or isolationist-leaning lawmakers and a coalition of more establishment-minded Republicans in both the House and Senate who have pledged to greenlight more help.

Posted in Uncategorized

Democrat says booting Schiff, Swalwell from Intel committee ‘hurts our national security’

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that Speaker Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif.) removal of Democratic Reps. Eric Swalwell (Calif.) and Adam Schiff (Calif.) from the panel will hurt the county.

Himes told “MSNBC Reports” host Alex Witt that he understands why Republicans are so angry with Schiff, who led the first impeachment of former President Trump.

“That made them angry. And to appease his right wing, Kevin McCarthy sort of had to throw Adam Schiff on the fire along with Eric Swalwell,” Himes said, referring to the Speaker's decision to block the lawmakers from the Intelligence Committee.

“That hurts our national security. Between the two of them, they’ve got 20 years of intelligence oversight, and that evidently is gone now,” Himes added. “And that’s a — that makes us a less safe country.”

McCarthy formally blocked both Schiff and Swalwell from serving on the Intelligence Committee in a letter to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), writing that both lawmaker's previous actions made them unfit to have jurisdiction over and access to sensitive national security issues. 

“In order to maintain a standard worthy of this committee’s responsibilities, I am hereby rejecting the appointments of Representative Adam Schiff and Representative Eric Swalwell to serve on the Intelligence Committee,” McCarthy wrote in his letter. 

McCarthy is also seeking to block Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. However, unlike Intelligence, which is a select committee, McCarthy will need majority support in the House to oust Omar, and it's unclear he has the votes.

All three Democrats targeted by McCarthy appeared on Sunday shows to defend themselves.

“This is some Bakersfield BS,” Swalwell said on CNN’s “State of the Union”.

“It’s Kevin McCarthy weaponizing his ability to commit this political abuse because he perceives me, just like Mr. Schiff and Ms. Omar, as an effective political opponent,” he said.

House Intel members look for ‘reset’ after partisan era of Schiff, Nunes

The House Intelligence Committee will get a facelift this Congress following the booting of its former chairman and the retirement of a prior ranking member — a drastic makeover that’s prompting internal hopes that the panel can move beyond the partisan battles that have practically defined it in recent years.

The committee launched the last Congress with Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) at the helm, two national — and highly polarizing — figures whose epic battles, waged predominantly over issues related to former President Trump, came to symbolize the panel’s shift from a rare bastion of bipartisan cooperation to an arena of partisan warfare. 

This year, there may be a turnaround.

Nunes retired from Congress last January to lead the Trump Media & Technology Group, the former president’s social media company. And this week, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) blocked Schiff from sitting on the panel, accusing the former chairman of lying to the public about Trump’s ties to Russia. 

Schiff’s eviction drew howls from Democrats, who denied the charges and rushed to his defense. But amid the protests, even some Democrats acknowledged that both Schiff and Nunes had become so radioactive in the eyes of the opposing party that it became a drag on the work of the committee. 

With that in mind, committee members of both parties are hoping the roster reshuffling will turn a page on that combative era and return the panel to its historic image as a largely collaborative body. 

"We're hoping it'll be a reset, and we can get past all the infighting … and just focus on national security,” said a source familiar with the committee dynamics.

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), who was first seated on the panel in the last Congress, echoed that message, saying the new chairman, Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), is making improved relations a priority as he takes the gavel.

"That's the goal,” Gallagher said. “I think we've got really good, thoughtful members. We've got the right leadership in Turner. And we're trying to get back to that more bipartisan approach.” 

In denying committee seats to Schiff, along with Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), McCarthy claimed their exit would help move the panel in a less partisan direction — something the two Democrats and their allies deny.

“I think what McCarthy is doing is actually quite the opposite,” Schiff said.

“He's politicizing the committee. No Speaker has ever sought to interfere with who the ranking member on the Intelligence Committee should be. Certainly, [Former] Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi had many differences with Devin Nunes, but she has a reverence for the work of the committee and Kevin McCarthy evidently doesn't.”

Members of both parties pointed to Nunes’s departure, at the start of last year, as the beginning of improved relations on the panel. 

“We entered a new chapter after Nunes left. It really changed with Turner, a ton. And so I suppose maybe from their side they think that something is going to change on our side without Schiff and Swalwell. Perhaps? But I really thought everything changed for the better once Nunes was gone. We were very collegial,” said one Democratic source familiar with the panel’s innerworkings.

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), an eight-year veteran of the Intel Committee, cautioned against pinning the panel’s problems on any one person.

“I don't want to say, ‘Yeah, the committee is going to work beautifully now because those two are gone,’” he said of Schiff and Swalwell, “because that would be unfair, and it wouldn't be accurate. So I don't want to indicate that the committee didn't work, or was more political, only because of them.”

Still, Stewart also said it was “fair” to say Nunes contributed to the panel’s combative environment —  a dynamic he blamed on the charged atmosphere of the Trump years, which also featured Schiff playing lead manager of Trump’s first impeachment. 

“Devin was associated with those very contentious times just like Adam Schiff was associated with those very contentious times. I don't think it was necessarily Devin, I think it was the two leaders who had to navigate through those tough times,” he said.

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), another member, agreed that the impeachment era soured the committee’s dynamic, though he contributed the deterioration largely to the Republicans’ defense of Trump.

“Whatever my own view is, obviously, the committee became enormously polarized, which is pretty unusual. When we moved on [after] Ukraine, it already started to repair itself. You know, Devin Nunes moved on,” Himes said. “Mike Turner, in my opinion, has always been a fair actor.”

Turner declined to talk this week. 

The full roster of the committee remains unclear. While Republicans have named their members — including new additions that include Reps. Dan Crenshaw (Texas), Michael Waltz (Fla.) and French Hill (Ark.) — Democrats are waiting for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) to make his accompanying selections.

“A lot will depend on that,” said Gallagher. “But I hope that Leader Jeffries looks at who we've appointed … and responds in-kind with, not just bomb-throwers, but solutions-oriented types.” 

McCarthy’s refusal to seat Schiff has created a vacuum at the top of the Democrats’ roster — a void that virtually every committee Democrat is hoping to fill. 

Pelosi (D-Calif.), had she remained the leader of the party, was set to appoint Himes to the position, according to several Democrats familiar with her plans. But others are also expressing interest, including Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.).

Jeffries, however, has given no indication either who he’ll pick or when he’ll announce it. 

As the committee comes together, members say they’re not expecting to avoid partisan fights altogether. Gallagher pointed out that the panel will have to tackle a number of prickly topics this Congress — including the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — which are sure to lead to partisan clashes.

But those are issues-based differences, he emphasized, not collisions of personality. And Gallagher said he’s established a good rapport with some of the newer Democrats on the panel, including Reps. Jason Crow (Colo.) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (Ill.), who has co-sponsored legislation with Gallagher to ban TikTok in the United States.

"Those younger members and I have a really good working relationship,” Gallagher said. “We just hope to build on that."

Schiff hit with ethics complaint one day into Senate campaign for using Trump impeachment video

The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust on Friday filed a complaint requesting the Office of Congressional Ethics investigate Rep. Adam Schiff for alleged violations.

Republican lawmakers file appeal regarding the legality of the PA Legislature’s impeachment of Larry Krasner

Pennsylvania GOP lawmakers filed an appeal regarding the legality of the state lawmaker's impeachment of Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner.

Pence special counsel ‘more likely than not,’ says former WH ethics lawyer

Norm Eisen, a former Obama White House ethics lawyer, said Wednesday it's “more likely than not” a special counsel will be assigned to investigate classified documents found at former Vice President Mike Pence’s residence.

During an appearance on “CNN Newsroom,” host Abby Phillip asked Eisen, a legal analyst for the network, if the Justice Department would deploy a special counsel in Pence's case, as it has for former President Trump and President Biden.

“Abby, there’s no question the pressure is on Attorney General Merrick Garland to treat the Pence case as he treated the Biden and the Trump cases," Eisen told Phillip.

“But it's not assured that we're going to have a special counsel because, as the attorney general said yesterday, what DOJ does is try to look at every case on the facts and on the law,” Eisen added. “We need to know more details about Pence. It's more likely than not that we are going to get a third special counsel to look at the Pence situation.” 

Eisen was also a co-counsel for the House Judiciary Committee during then-President Trump’s first impeachment trial.

His remarks come a day after officials confirmed that classified documents were found at Pence’s Indiana residence, with his attorney, Greg Jacob, writing in a letter that Pence’s team notified the National Archives the week prior about the discovery of a small number of documents at the former vice president's residence. 

Pence’s attorney added in his letter to the Archives that his client was “unaware of the existence of sensitive or classified documents at his personal residence.”

In a Truth Social post, Trump said that his former vice president is “an innocent man. He never did anything knowingly dishonest in his life. Leave him alone!!!”

The discovery has complicated GOP attacks against Biden's handling of classified material.

“Politically, this makes it difficult if not impossible for the GOP to criticize Biden, w/out damaging Pence; the situations look very similar,” tweeted Joyce White Vance, a law professor and legal analyst on MSNBC.