Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich defended the likely soon-to-be Speaker Kevin McCarthy Monday on Fox & Friends after McCarthy said he would remove three Democrats from committees.
McCarthy vowed Sunday to remove California Reps. Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff along with Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar from their congressional committees when Republicans assume control. Swalwell and Schiff sit on the House Intelligence Committee while Omar sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. McCarthy cited Swalwell’s relationship with a Chinese spy, Schiff’s defense of the Steele dossier and Omar’s blatant anti-Semitism as reasons.
Gingrich defended the move, saying outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi set the precedent. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Kevin McCarthy Plots An Investigation Avalanche If GOP Retakes House)
“I think Nancy Pelsoi set the precedent,” Gingrich said. “She did something that had never been done before and reached into the minority party to decide who could and could not serve on some committees. I think Kevin McCarthy is following her precedent. So the Democrats have nothing to complain about because they started this dance and frankly, the three people he’s picked so totally deserve to be kicked off committees.”
Gingrich said Schiff “made a career out of lying to the American people” while Swalwell “had a relationship with a Chinese communist.” The former speaker said Omar “has consistently violated the norms of civilized behavior” as an “antisemitic orator.”
“I think those are three pretty good targets and I commend Speaker-designate McCarthy for taking them head-on.”
Schiff threw his support behind the dossier, even reading part of it into the congressional record. Igor Danchenko, Christopher Steel’s main source for the dossier, was indicted by special counsel John Durham for lying to federal officials. A lawyer for the Clinton campaign was also indicted for lying to the FBI about the campaign’s role in funding the dossier.
Swalwell met Christine Fang in 2011 while he served as a member of the city council. Fang was working in San Francisco on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party’s Ministry of State Security and worked to help Swalwell run for office in 2014. The relationship appears to be political in nature, though some have alleged he could be compromised.