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Tipsheet

Matt Gaetz Introduces 'PENCIL Act' Targeting Adam Schiff's Ability to See Classified Info

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

It's been quite the week for Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). He may have served on the House Intelligence Committee before, but now the Republicans are in charge and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is taking concerns about Schiff's lies more seriously. On Tuesday, he formally blocked Schiff, as well as Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), from the the committee, just as he said he would. And on Thursday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) announced he was reintroducing the Preventing Extreme Negligence with Classified Information Licenses (PENCIL) Act to keep Schiff from reviewing classified information. The title is in reference to Schiff's nickname of "pencil neck.'

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As Rep. Gaetz told Henry Rodgers of the Daily Caller:

“Congressman Adam Schiff led the effort for years to weaponize lies from the Clinton campaign and a corrupt Department of Justice to smear President Trump while destroying any trust the country had left in America’s intelligence agencies” Gaetz told the Caller before introducing the legislation.

“Speaker McCarthy kept his promise to remove Rep. Schiff from the Intelligence Committee, and with the PENCIL Resolution, we will express the sense of Congress that he should be barred from accessing any classified information at all. He can no longer be trusted by his colleagues in Congress or the American people,” Gaetz added.

The resolution references a litany of lies that Schiff has told, mostly to do the "Russia collusion" hoax when it comes to the 2016 presidential election, but also revelations recently learned from batches of the Twitter Files

In addition to declaring that Schiff "should not have access to classified information," the resolution also declared that he "should be investigated by the Committee on Ethics for potential collusion with rogue elements of the Department of Defense in an attempt to tarnish the reputation of former President Donald J. Trump..."

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"Pencil Neck" has been trending on Twitter, as has "Gaetz." The congressman has been in the news not only for his tantrum about being removed from the committee, but because he complained about it over TikTok to also ask for support, and then shortly thereafter announced he was running for Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) seat. 

Gaetz appeared on Fox News' "Hannity" on Thursday night to discuss the legislation, where host Sean Hannity emphasized Schiff "is a proven liar" and even liberal commentator Geraldo Rivera didn't take issue with Swalwell and Schiff weren't allowed to sit on the committee. 

In response to Rivera peppering him with charges that this wasn't "going after real issues," Gaetz pointed out that the 118th Congress has been going after real issues as well and is "quite different from the last Congress."

Gaetz went on to offer "but certainly no one can defend Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, these are people who made careers leaking and then embroidering lies onto those very leaks." In addition to mentioning and critiquing the TikTok video, Gaetz pointed out "a real critique we have is that for three years, when Republicans wanted access to intelligence about the origins of the coronavirus, Adam Schiff was essentially the blocking tackle for the Chinese Communist Party and did not get that information out in front of the public."

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The legislation is being introduced as Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) also reintroduced the Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments Act (PELOSI) Act. 

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