Republicans hope to transfer Jordan to the Intelligence Committee. And, in a perfect world, they’d throw Meadows and Zeldin in there, too. Fox is told the maneuver will probably take place by this weekend. But, Republicans must first navigate their own internal political waters. Positioning Jordan on the Intelligence Committee means GOPers must yank one of their own off that panel. Sliding over Meadows and Zeldin entails the Herculean feat of stripping a grand total of three current Republicans from that committee.
“Politically, there’s no way for us to pull this off,” said one Republican source, adding that Jordan would likely be the only figure heading to Intelligence.
So, who steps down from the panel?
The obvious choices are retiring Republicans Reps. Will Hurd, R-Texas, and Michael Conaway, R-Texas. One knowledgeable source tells Fox there’s already an agreement to move one Republican off the committee. But, there could be some internecine GOP infighting.
“Why would they want to come off the committee?” asked one Republican when discussing Hurd and Conaway. “This is their last swan song. It’s the most important hearing of their careers.”
If Hurd or Conaway aren’t sidelined, Fox News is told GOPers could try to divert Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, or others.
We have likened this “matchup” scenario to baseball, football and basketball. But hockey may help us understand another component.
In hockey, the home team has what’s known as “last change.” After each stoppage in play, the visitors must put their skaters on the ice first. The home team has an advantage because it gets to judge who the visitors decided to go with and conceivably dispatch an advantageous matchup.
In many respects, Pelosi has “last change” in these circumstances.
The Intelligence Committee isn’t a garden variety House panel. In fact, its formal title is “The House Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence.” As a “select” committee, the Speaker gets to approve the membership of the Intelligence panel.
Republicans are itching for a fight if Pelosi were to veto the installation of Jordan on the Intelligence Committee. Such a decision would mesh with the Republican narrative that Democrats are heavy-handed with impeachment and abusing the process. That said, with public hearings coming, it’s hard to see how Republicans could get traction once the forums start and people see GOPers asking questions of witnesses.
It is unclear if Pelosi would block such a transition of Jordan to the Intelligence Committee. A senior House Democratic source indicated that this was “hypothetical” until Republican leaders informed the Speaker of their intentions. On one hand, Pelosi may not care who the Republicans place on the Intelligence Committee. Another school of thought is that Pelosi knows Republicans hope she misplays her hand. So, the Speaker might not forbid the move.
But, Pelosi served for years on the Intelligence Committee as the ranking Democrat. One source said Pelosi could potentially block the move because she has a special appreciation for the Intelligence Committee. The source told Fox News that Pelosi could make the argument that you just don’t parachute people into the Intelligence Committee for political advantage.
Then again, Republicans may accuse Pelosi of politicizing the process, making the Intelligence Committee in charge of impeachment.
So, unclear what the speaker may do on this front.
As they say in sports, this is the game within the game. The chess match. And everyone’s jockeying for position for one of the rarest events in politics: the possible impeachment of an American president.