On Thursday, House Democrats, with the help of a few Republicans, took the unprecedented step of voting to strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) of her committee assignments, for her past embrace of QAnon conspiracy theories.
Their action came with a warning from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who said of Democrats, “I would remind them what Leader McConnell said when Democrats voted to nuke the judicial filibuster: ‘You’ll regret this. And you may regret this a lot sooner than you think.'”
“If people are held to what they have said prior to even being in this House, if the majority party gets to decide who sits on what other committees, I hope you keep that standard, because we have a long list you can work with in your own,” McCarthy added.
Make no mistake about it, 2022 is fast approaching, and I’d put money on the GOP retaking the majority. Remember, the GOP managed to gain seats in 2020, despite predictions of losing more seats. Also, historically speaking, midterm elections are usually pretty bad for the party in power. So, in the event that the Republican Party gains control, they will now have a precedent giving them the green light to strip Democrats of committee assignments for embracing conspiracy theories and other unseemly behavior. Here’s a list of Democrats they should start with.
9. Rep. Adam Smith (Washington)
In June, the New York Times published a report claiming that “a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops,” and that President Trump was briefed on it in March, but did nothing about it. The report was quickly debunked by multiple sources. John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, confirmed that “neither the President nor the Vice President were ever briefed on any intelligence alleged by the New York Times.”
Catherine Herridge, a senior investigative reporter for CBS News, also reported that a “senior intel official” told her the “GRU/Taliban bounty allegations were not contained in the President’s Daily Brief (PDB).” Herridge added that an “intelligence official with direct knowledge” said intel on alleged Russian bounties only reached “low levels” of the NSC but “did not go further” because it was deemed “uncorroborated” and because of “dissent” within the intelligence community.
Despite this, Rep. Adam Smith, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, claimed there was “clearly evidence” that Russian intelligence officers had placed bounties on U.S. and coalition soldiers, and contradicted intelligence officials and insisted that Trump must have known about it.
8. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (New York)
Last summer, the conspiracy theory that the Trump administration was sabotaging the United States Postal Service actually wasn’t limited to just a few crazies in the Democratic caucus. The conspiracy theory was promoted by the Democratic National Convention and was treated as real by the mainstream media. As absurd as the accusations were, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the chair of the Government Oversight Committee, accused Trump of attempting “to prevent millions of Americans from having their votes counted,” and subpoenaed Postmaster General Luis DeJoy, and even fundraised off the conspiracy during DeJoy’s testimony. “After being appointed by Trump as a major donor to his campaign, PMG DeJoy has implemented detrimental changes to the quality and services that so many Americans rely on the U.S. Postal Service to provide,” the fundraising email read. “It’s all part of Trump’s scheme to sabotage the USPS and steal the presidential election.”
Claims of sabotage were boosted by photos of mail collection boxes in piles presented as proof of “voter suppression” that went viral on social media. It was embarrassing how easily Democrats and the media were manipulated. Even the left-wing website Vox had to admit that a viral photo of collection boxes in a pile behind a chain-link fence was “a lesson in misinformation.”
“This photo of collection boxes represents a particularly dangerous form of misinformation,” explained Vox reporter Rebecca Heilweil. “But … the collection boxes in the image aren’t in a dump. They’re on a lot operated by a company called Hartford Finishing, which regularly refurbishes mailboxes for the Postal Service.” The removal of unused or seldom-used collection boxes has been part of a longstanding cost-cutting effort of the USPS, which is notorious for losing money every year—long before Trump took office. USPS spokeswoman Kimberly Frum told The Hill last summer that installation and removal of USPS collection boxes has been going on for decades. “It is a fluid process and figures can vary from day-to-day. Historically, mailboxes have been removed for lack of use and installed in growth areas,” she explained. In September 2016, the USPS inspector general noted that “Nationally, the number of collection boxes declined by more than 12,000 in the past 5 years.” This means that the USPS, during the Obama-Biden administration, removed thousands of mail collection boxes.
7. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts)
In August of last year, Squad member Ayanna Pressley called for civil unrest because, she claimed, President Trump and the GOP had turned a “deaf ear” to Americans’ concerns.
“This is as much about public outcry, organizing and mobilizing and applying pressure so that this GOP-led Senate and these governors that continue to carry water for this administration, putting American people in harm’s way, turning a deaf ear to the needs of our families and our communities – hold them accountable,” she said.
“Make the phone calls, send the emails, show up,” she continued. “You know, there needs to be unrest in the streets for as long as there’s unrest in our lives.”
She serves on the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Calling for political violence should disqualify her from serving on those (or any) committees.
6. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York)
Last year, AOC claimed the Republican Party’s goal was to “dismantle” our “democracy, our institutions, and our republic,” and accused President Trump of trying to dismantle the Postal Service. More recently she floated the absurd conspiracy theory that Republican members of Congress gave “suspicious tours” of the Capitol the day before the riot took place. She wasn’t alone in pushing this conspiracy theory either. Thirty members of Congress submitted a letter to the House Sergeant-at-Arms, the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, and the Capitol Police to request an investigation into alleged “suspicious tours” that they had no evidence of, and there still is no evidence that Republicans in Congress were involved in any fashion with the breach at the Capitol.
AOC serves on the same two committees as Ayanna Pressley and should be stripped of those assignments.
5. Rep. Maxine Waters (California)
Perhaps one of the kookiest members of the House, Waters lives for anti-Republican conspiracy theories, and her hatred of all things Trump was so rabid that she urged anti-Trumpers to harass members of the Trump administration in public places. That alone should be enough for her to be stripped of her committee assignments the second the GOP regains control of the House. But she’s also a rabid conspiracy theorist, and even pushed an absurd conspiracy theory earlier this week claiming that Trump and his campaign had advance knowledge of the assault on the Capitol.
Maxine Waters currently serves as the chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, which is pretty scary.
4. Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minnesota)
Her anti-Semitism alone should disqualify her from serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and House Republicans actually have proposed a resolution to disqualify her from her committee assignments “in light of conduct she has exhibited.” Omar won’t sweat over it as long as the Democrats are in power, but I hope and suspect the GOP will make an example out of her once they retake the majority.
3. Rep. Eric Swalwell (California)
If being romantically linked to a Chinese spy isn’t enough to get you booted from the House Intelligence Committee when you’re a Democrat, what would get you booted? Perhaps we wouldn’t even be having this discussion had Nancy Pelosi shown any sense of leadership at all and removed Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee after it was revealed he’d been the target of a Chinese intelligence operative. The GOP was quite unified in their calls to have Swalwell ousted back in December when the scandal broke, and like Ilhan Omar, I suspect Swalwell be a primary target of the GOP since Pelosi refused to do so.
2. Rep. Adam Schiff (California)
Adam Schiff repeatedly insisted that he had personally seen evidence of collusion between President Trump, his campaign, and Russia. No evidence actually existed. Schiff lied and used his position as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to perpetuate the conspiracy theory to undermine Trump’s presidency. Despite claiming to have personally seen the evidence, the Mueller investigation found none, and top Obama officials all testified that they never saw any empirical evidence of collusion. Schiff knew collusion was a lie but claimed repeatedly that it was true. This
1. Virtually Everyone Else in the Democratic Party
Let’s face it, the entire Democratic Party bought into the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy theory, and if buying into conspiracies disqualifies you from serving on a committee, then pretty much the entire Democratic Party is disqualified. The entire thing was a hoax that nevertheless prompted a multi-million-dollar investigation that predictably turned up nothing. The infamous Steele dossier, which was instrumental in launching the collusion investigation, was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and used to distract from Hillary’s email scandal. The Democratic Party bought into the lie, that high-ranking Obama officials conceded there was never any empirical evidence of. They bought into the most ridiculous conspiracy theory of them all, and many of them knew it was bogus and still pushed it. As far as I’m concerned, they all deserve to lose their committee positions.
Matt Margolis is the author of Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter, Gab, Facebook, MeWe, Heroes, Rumble, and CloutHub.