Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is reportedly campaigning among Democrats to become House leader after pushing the debunked Russia hoax for years.
Based on the Washington Post‘s eight lawmakers and 18 staff interviews, Schiff “is gauging members’ interest and planting the seed” to gain enough support to potentially replace Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as leader after the midterms. According to the L.A. Times, Pelosi has been “grooming” Schiff as a possible successor. Schiff began selling the idea to California Democrats earlier this year, “though he has not made an explicit ask for endorsements.”
Some in the Democrat caucus are opposed to Schiff, not because he pushed the Russia hoax, but because he does not fit the intersectional qualities the Democrat party fancies, according to the Post. Intersection opposition to Schiff reportedly includes Reps. James Clyburn (D-SC) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), who have allied themselves closely with Pelosi’s reign as speaker. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) would also reportedly be interested in the top job. but he is not of intersection quality.
The upshot of Schiff is his aggressive fundraising qualities. “He has hired political fundraiser Bruce Kieloch, whom Pelosi uses for the House Majority PAC,” the Post reported. “He has $19 million cash on hand in his personal campaign account and his leadership PAC has raised $7 million this year for candidates and the DCCC, according to FEC filings.”
One of Schiff’s potential motivations to become leader of the Democrat caucus is to protect his image. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who is likely to become House speaker after Republicans reclaim the chamber, has promised to cancel Schiff’s committee assignments upon victory, Breitbart News’s Matt Boyle first reported in January. McCarthy’s vow is in retaliation for Pelosi’s decision to strip firebrands Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) of their committee assignments earlier in the term.
“The Democrats have created a new thing where they’re picking and choosing who can be on committees,” McCarthy told Breitbart News, adding:
Never in the history [of Congress] have you had the majority tell the minority who can be on committee. But this new standard which these Democrats have voted for—if Eric Swalwell cannot get a security clearance in the private sector, there is no reason why he should be given one to be on Intel or Homeland Security. He will not be serving there.
“You look at Adam Schiff—he should not be serving on Intel when he has openly, knowingly now used a fake dossier, lied to the American public in the process and doesn’t have any ill will [and] says he wants to continue to do it,” McCarthy added.
Schiff is most well known for serving as the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, where he has been a “ubiquitous presence on cable news, driving the story — which critics call a conspiracy theory — of Russian “collusion” with President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign,” Breitbart News reported. “That performance has made Schiff a villain to Republicans, but a hero to Democrats” who were eager to see Trump impeached.