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.