Speaker Sparks New GOP Civil War Over Rogue Intel Picks

Speaker Sparks New GOP Civil War Over Rogue Intel Picks

Rep. Ronny Jackson

Photo by Joshua Roberts/REUTERS

House Speaker Mike Johnson has enraged fellow Republicans yet again by putting two Freedom Caucus troublemakers—Reps. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Ronny Jackson of Texas—on the key Intelligence Committee. Johnson justified passing over more qualified members for the plum spots by telling critics that convicted felon Donald Trump told him to do it, according to The Washington Post.

Johnson’s decision did more than just anger his caucus with the move: He’s embedded Trump moles in the sensitive committee. Even former Speaker Kevin McCarthy didn’t play games with the Intelligence Committee, working with Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries to keep politics at a minimum in their choices. Because it’s a select committee rather than a standing committee, the speaker and minority leader choose its members.

“[Johnson] has reversed course on this committee, and has now made it political again. He has reversed all the advances, which could harm America’s preparedness,” one high-ranking Republican told the Post. “This is not a place to play games. This is not a place to appease somebody. This is where you got to do the real work.”

“I think we’re letting the executive branch, in this case, compel the speaker of the House and legislative branch to fill two critical spots that we have, frankly, more qualified people for,” another GOP panel member said.

Johnson didn’t even consult with committee chair Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio before adding the members to the panel, according to sources who spoke toPolitico last week.

“There’s a lot of pissed [off] people. A lot of angry people. … It’s a coveted spot, and a lot of people who have worked hard to be good team players feel like they are getting passed over,” one GOP member said, adding that Johnson is “rewarding bad behavior.”

And the behavior of these two has been particularly bad. Perry is under investigation for his role in trying to overturn the 2020 election results and was a key conspirator in January 6 who was deeply embedded in the Trump team’s efforts. Perry’s attempts to elevate Jeffrey Clark to Trump’s acting attorney general in the weeks following the 2020 election sparked the investigation.

Jackson (also known as Johnson to a confused Trump) is a former White House doctor and Navy rear admiral who was demoted to captain after a Pentagon report was released about his inappropriate behavior as a White House physician. He pushed pills, including sedatives and stimulants, to “potentially hundreds of ineligible White House staff and contractors” and failed to manage dangerous drugs like fentanyl. Jackson is also a notorious Trump sycophant who fudged Trump’s height and weight statistics in his exams to keep him just out of the obese category.

Both Perry and Jackson are favorites of Trump. That’s how they got the nod from Johnson, yet another Trump toady.

Johnson is again doing Trump’s dirty work by putting his allies in a place where they could conceivably do real damage to our national security.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

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