Schiff lobbying Newsom to be appointed California AG: reports

Greg Nash

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has been quietly rallying support from California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and other allies to be the state’s next attorney general, according to multiple reports. 

Axios first reported Schiff’s plans Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The outlet added that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) supports Schiff’s lobbying efforts. 

Politico later reported that Schiff, who currently serves as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has lobbied Newsom to appoint him for the role currently held by Xavier Becerra, who was nominated by President Biden to serve as Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary. 

Politico added that Pelosi herself has lobbied for Schiff’s appointment on his behalf, according to three people familiar with the matter, though a Pelosi spokesman declined to comment. 

Representatives for Schiff and Newsom did not immediately respond to The Hill’s requests for comment. 

Axios noted that if Newsom does select Schiff, House Democrats would lose a strong party voice in the California congressman, who gained particular attention after leading the Russia investigation into then-President Trump. 

A departure by Schiff would also leave a slim 221-211 Democratic majority in the lower chamber. 

Becerra will vacate the attorney general post if confirmed for HHS secretary by the Senate. If Schiff takes on the role, it would take roughly six months for a special election to occur to select Schiff’s replacement in the House. 

Newsom’s upcoming decision on a new attorney general for the state comes after he selected Secretary of State Alex Padilla to replace Vice President Harris in her previous role as a California senator. 

Harris swore in her successor hours after taking her oath of office as vice president last month, along with new Georgia Sens. Jon Ossoff (D) and Raphael Warnock (D). 

Newsom’s choice also comes as he faces an impending recall effort and criticism in the state that has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with a Berkeley IGS Poll released Tuesday finding his approval rating dipping to 46 percent, with 31 percent strongly disapproving of his job performance.

Tags Adam Schiff Alex Padilla Axios California California attorney general Department of Health and Human Services Donald Trump Gavin Newsom House Jon Ossoff Kamala Harris Nancy Pelosi Politico Raphael Warnock Senate Xavier Becerra

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