Opinion | McCarthy is right to kick Omar, Schiff and Swalwell off committees


House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is 100-percent right to move to kick Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and remove Reps. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) from the House Intelligence Committee. Omar is an antisemite who has no business serving on a committee that helps set U.S. policy toward Israel. And Schiff and Swalwell are conspiracy theorists who abused their positions on the Intelligence Committee to falsely claim they had seen secret evidence that President Donald Trump conspired with Russia to steal the 2016 election — which was a lie. Neither deserves access to our nation’s secrets.

Omar’s record of virulent antisemitic remarks is disqualifying. In March 2019, she declared politicians who support Israel “push for allegiance to a foreign country,” accusing Israel supporters in Congress of dual loyalty — which then-Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.) correctly called “a vile antisemitic slur.” But then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) allowed her to remain on that committee. A few months later, Omar introduced a resolution in Congress comparing the boycott of Israel to boycotting Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Again, Democrats did nothing.

In September 2021, Omar and her anti-Israel allies used a potential government shutdown to force Pelosi to remove $1 billion in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system from an emergency spending bill. The Iron Dome is a purely defensive system that protects civilians from Hamas rockets — which means Omar wanted to shut down the government to let terrorists indiscriminately kill Jews. Democratic leaders had to arrange a separate vote to approve Iron Dome funding. Again, there were no consequences.

Then in June 2021, Omar compared the U.S. and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban — forcing House Democratic leaders to issue a joint statement declaring: “Drawing false equivalencies between democracies like the U.S. and Israel and groups that engage in terrorism like Hamas and the Taliban foments prejudice.” But instead of punishing Omar, Pelosi praised her as a “valued member” of her caucus.

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Valued member? Omar has said U.S. support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins” — insinuating that Jews buy American influence. She shared an anti-Israel cartoon on social media that was drawn by the second-place winner of Iran’s Holocaust-denial cartoon contest. She supports the antisemitic BDS movement, which seeks the economic destruction of Israel.

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counterpointMcCarthy may regret kicking Schiff off House Intelligence Committee

While giving Omar a pass, Pelosi made a show of stripping Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) — a disgraceful conspiracy theorist — of her committee assignments. Now, McCarthy is using that precedent to do what Pelosi should have done years ago and strip Omar of her committee assignments.

He is also right to remove Schiff and Swalwell, who misled Americans into believing they had seen secret evidence Trump conspired with Russia when no such evidence existed. Schiff repeatedly claimed his Intelligence Committee had unearthed “plenty of evidence of collusion or conspiracy.” On “Meet the Press” he declared “I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now,” and assured ABC News that Trump’s Russia conspiracy is of “a size and scope probably beyond Watergate.” A few months later, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III announced the evidence “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government.”

That’s not all. Schiff actively spread the lie that disclosure of compromising information on Hunter Biden’s laptop was part of a Russian information operation. “Clearly,” he told CNN, “the origins of this whole smear are from the Kremlin.” They weren’t.

Swalwell has been even more irresponsible. In an interview with MSNBC, he was asked by host Chris Matthews: “Do you believe the president [Trump], right now, has been an agent of the Russians?” He replied: “Yes, I think there’s more evidence that he is —” Matthews cut in and asked: “Agent?” Swalwell continued: “Yes, and I think all the arrows point in that direction, and I haven’t seen a single piece of evidence that he’s not.” An incredulous Matthews pressed him yet again: “An agent like in the 1940s where you had people who were ‘reds,’ to use an old term, like that? In other words, working for a foreign power?” Swalwell replied: “He’s working on behalf of the Russians, yes.” When CNN questioned this outrageous claim, Swalwell declared, “He certainly acts on Russia’s behalf … and it’s a claim from someone who also worked as a prosecutor for seven years and had the responsibility of looking at evidence and putting it before a jury.” Ironically, while Swalwell was pushing the theory that Trump was an agent of a hostile foreign power, he had been informed by the FBI that he, Swalwell, had had a relationship with the suspected agent of a hostile foreign power — alleged Chinese spy Christine Fang.

When Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) wondered publicly in 2019 why terms such as “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” had suddenly “become offensive,” Republicans stripped him of his committee assignments. But Democrats did not police their own ranks in the same way. Now, Republicans will do it for them.

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