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.

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.

Biden approval at highest level in new poll since December

President Biden’s approval rating has reached its highest level since last December in a new poll. 

The Politico-Morning Consult survey, published on Wednesday, found that 46 percent of all respondents approve of the job Biden is doing as president.

Eight-five percent of Democrats surveyed currently approve of the job Biden is doing, while only 10 percent of Republican respondents agree with the sentiment. 

Thirty-five percent of independents in the survey approve of the job Biden is doing as president. 

A similar Morning Consult poll in early June showed that 39 percent of respondents approved of the job Biden was doing as president, which marked an all-time low for him. 

Recently, Biden and his administration have seen a slew of legislative victories, which include the passing of his climate, health care and tax package, his signing of a bipartisan gun safety bill and the announcement of an initiative to cancel student loan debt for millions of Americans. 

When asked in the new survey about the upcoming midterm elections, 46 percent of registered Democrats said they will vote in November, compared to 41 percent of registered Republicans.

The new Politico-Morning Consult poll, which was conducted earlier this month, has a margin of error of 2 percentage points for all respondents and 4 points for party breakdowns.