House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., blasted House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., on Wednesday for focusing more on a second failed impeachment effort against former president Donald Trump than on the Taliban’s growing influence in Afghanistan.
“We should have been having hearings on what’s going on over there. We should have been able to gather that they would collapse this fast. But Adam Schiff was too focused on impeachment than doing the job he was supposed to do,” McCarthy said.
As head of the intelligence committee, Schiff would have had access to the reports from intelligence agencies that suggested the Taliban was stronger than previously thought.
According to several reports, these agencies warned the federal government that the Afghan government would fall to the Taliban as soon as the U.S. withdrew.
However, Schiff “spent all this time on politics” instead of “looking around the world of what his responsibility is,” McCarthy said.
Schiff admitted this week that intelligence agencies’ “assessments of the Afghan government’s ability to maintain itself became increasingly pessimistic over the course of the last six months.”
“There were any number of warnings that the Taliban might take over, and some that included a potential of a very rapid takeover,” he said this week.
Schiff had access to this information, McCarthy said, which makes him similarly responsible for “the failure” in Afghanistan.
McCarthy vowed that if Republicans take back the House in 2022, he would “change the intelligence committee back to the purpose of what their responsibility was.”
“They have a responsibility of overseeing these agencies. But what did they do? They turned it to look within. They spent it as a political arm,” he said.