Friday, January 13, 2023

Of course, this is a ridiculous claim by Donald Trump. But we already knew that Donald Trump is, as Al Franken might put it, a lying liar who tells lies, so the moral of the story lies elsewhere.

It's a style being copied by other Republicans, including the most powerful Republican in the country (Leonard Leo being the most influential). 


Fox News reported

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Thursday defended his decision to keep California Democrats Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff off the House Intelligence Committee – arguing that Schiff "openly lied" about the Russian election interference and a disturbing briefing he received from the FBI on Swalwell.

"If you got the briefing I got from the FBI, you wouldn't have Swalwell on any committee," McCarthy said in the press conference after one reporter questioned MCarthy's commitment to allowing Democrats to pick their own committee membership.

"And you're going to tell me other Democrats couldn't fill that slot? He cannot get a security clearance in the private sector," McCarthy said. "So would you like to give him a government clearance?"

However, twenty-two months ago

“Members of Congress are routinely provided with defensive briefings to raise awareness of the potential for them to be targeted by foreign adversaries,” a senior FBI official said Thursday in response to an inquiry about Swalwell. “As part of this briefing, they are encouraged to alert the FBI about any suspicious activity and to cooperate with any investigation"...

An FBI official has previously defended Swalwell, telling outlets in December that Swalwell was “completely cooperative” and “under no suspicion of wrongdoing,”

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy intends to force a vote on Swalwell’s committee post Thursday afternoon, contending that the Democrat’s interactions with Fang disqualify him from holding the sensitive assignment. Swalwell wouldn’t be eligible for a security clearance in the private sector and shouldn’t therefore be granted access to national security secrets through the intelligence panel, McCarthy argued at a Thursday press conference.

Asked to explain his push against Swalwell, McCarthy fell back on classified information he says he received in an FBI briefing last year. “I cannot talk to you about what I was given in a classified briefing,” he said, adding that the public record of Swalwell’s relationship with Fang should be enough to disqualify him.

McCarthy was singing the same tune then as now but

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who unilaterally appoints the Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee, has stood behind Swalwell, saying she has “no concerns” about his actions.

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff also defended Swalwell Thursday, issuing a statement of support in a “Dear Colleague” letter aimed at rallying the Democratic caucus to his side. Schiff noted that Republicans — including the panel’s current ranking GOP member Devin Nunes of California and then-Speaker John Boehner — were briefed on the matter in 2015 and raised no concerns about Swalwell’s ability to continue serving on the committee.

When briefed on the matter, Democrats weren't worried. Neither was the Republican Speaker of the House nor Devin Nunes, who became such a supporter of President Trump that he would eventually resign from the House to become CEO of Trump's Truth Social platform.

It's time for Kevin McCarthy to put up or shut up. If he has damaging information on Representative Eric Swalwell, he should not keep it from voters in California's 14th Congressional District.

He won't, however. He's rather slander (not in a strictly legal sense, but still) a Democrat just as his hero, Donald J. Trump, does, making wild charges without presenting any evidence.  It's a feature of the Republican Party now, where truth is not only optional, but a virtue to be avoided at almost any cost.


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