Speaker McCarthy, don't let the anti-democracy Democrats gut the Constitution

Speaker Kevin McCarthy has excluded Rep. Adam Schiff from returning to the House Intelligence Committee as ranking minority member — in which position he would likely have again been regarded by the Sunday talk shows as chairman.  We know this because it has happened before.

With Republicans holding a House majority of 241 to 194 in the 115th Congress, one would have thought that House Intelligence Select Committee chairman Devin Nunes would be the guest of Martha Raddatz on the ABC program This Week.  But no — the guest of Ms. Raddatz, in the aftermath of the May 2017 appointment of Robert Mueller to investigate Russia-gate was not the Intel Committee chair; the guest was the ranking minority member, Rep Adam Schiff.  At the time, I thought it odd that Ms. Raddatz seemed to treat the ranking minority member as the Intel chair and took note of this curious development.

Caricature by Donkey Hotey, CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

The anti-democracy left is trying to distract the American people by focusing on the conduct of Rep. George Santos, before his election to the House, last November.  In Powell v. McCormack, the Supreme Court held that a member of Congress can be excluded only by violating the qualifications for such membership set forth in Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, including the requirements that the member be 25 years old and live in the state from which he seeks office.

In the event that House Republicans force Mr. Santos to leave office, not only will they help the Democrats transform the Constitution into a meaningless charter, but they will again dishearten MAGA patriots with the realization that the GOP is a Potemkin political party — unwilling to stand up to the enemies of democracy, much less willing to hold them to account as the left makes a mockery of our political and legal systems, makes a mockery of the devotion of the people to the American spirit of liberty.

Schiff has already done grave damage to the American polity.  Who could have known, less than five months into the Trump presidency, that Schiff, aided by a compliant media, was part of a Democrat conspiracy to undermine President Trump by promoting the fiction that Russia sowed chaos and discord in the United States to elect Trump president?  (By the way, the locations of the purported chaos and discord were never made clear, but how can one substantiate a big lie?)

The Democrat cabal not only succeeded in getting a special counsel appointed to maintain, for nearly two years, the lie that Donald J. Trump was elected president by Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.  This cabal of political cutthroats impugned the integrity of Chairman Nunes and forced him to step down as Intel chair while the House Ethics Committee considered false charges that Mr. Nunes had acted improperly in his probe of the anti-Trump cabal.  The effect, of course, was to hamstring Republican efforts to get to the truth of the campaign to undermine Mr. Trump — leaving the field to an Office of Special Counsel that was staffed by the president's enemies.

By the end of December 2017, Chairman Nunes was cleared of the manufactured claims by Mr. Trump's enemies of improperly leaking classified information.  Nevertheless, the anti-Trump insurrectionists never paid a legal or political price for their conspiracy to undermine the American spirit of democracy — until now.  Schiff finally, belatedly, is paying a price.  Don't ignore the Constitution and drive Rep. Santos from office as some sort of quid pro quo.

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