It’s hard to see the five hardliners who have McCarthy’s future in the palm of their hand right now—he can only win the speakership if four of them relent and vote for him—agreeing to anything less. One of them is this guy, the only declared challenger to McCarthy at the moment.
And this guy, who is showing no inclination of backing down:
Speaking of Rep. Jim Jordan (who does not want to be speaker because he now has the Judiciary Committee megaphone), he might be having to share the witch-hunting limelight with a new select committee yet another group of hardliners is demanding. Jordan’s premature release of oversight demands to the Biden administration wasn’t enough to compel the White House to pay attention, or to keep other House Republicans from wanting to get in on the action.
They want a freewheeling committee with scope to investigate pretty much everything they are calling “weaponized government.” It’s all the stuff that Jordan and incoming Oversight Committee Chair James Comer have already said they’re “investigating”: the FBI, the Justice Department, the IRS, and Anthony Fauci. Oh, and the Department of Education and Homeland Security and Hunter Biden’s laptop. And the intelligence officials who warned that the Hunter Biden laptop story “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”
Which makes the irony of these guys saying they are modeling this proposed select committee after the 1970s Church Committee even sharper. That was the storied committee convened in 1975 and chaired by Sen. Frank Church, which held a series of hearings and published 14 reports as it investigated the legality of intelligence operations by the CIA, NSA, and FBI, including attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, spying on Martin Luther King Jr., and monitoring the political activities of other U.S. citizens. The Church Committee resulted in the creation of the permanent Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, intended as a check on the intelligence communities domestic surveillance powers. The Church Committee was intent on protecting the privacy and civil liberties of Americans and ending the rampant lawlessness of the intelligence agencies.
So, no, none of these people have the stature to even utter the name “Frank Church,” and they sure as hell don’t have any sense of the history and the import of what that committee did. What they’re envisioning setting up, and what McCarthy is apparently endorsing, is even more ironic because it’s another McCarthy and another proposed witch hunt.
One, by the way, that the other guys McCarthy needs to keep on his side don’t appreciate. That would be Jordan and Comer, who have already claimed that turf. “I feel like we’ve got enough committees already to do all of that. I’m pretty passionate about that. I feel like you’ve got a Judiciary and Intelligence Committee that are very capable of doing that,” Comer said. “I’m not a big select committee or special counsel kind of guy.”
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