California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff is reportedly lobbying his state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, to appoint him as California’s next attorney general, Axios reported.
Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee and was a central figure regarding the Russia-related investigation into former President Donald Trump, has become a high-profile figure among the House Democratic caucus.
If Schiff resigns his House seat, however, he would temporarily narrow House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s slim 221-211 majority even further, since House vacancies must be filled by a special election as outlined in Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution.
Despite the vacancy that would result, Pelosi has given approval to Schiff’s effort, according to Axios. Vacancies also opened in Ohio, Louisiana and New Mexico after three lawmakers resigned their seats to join President Joe Biden’s administration, though all three are from safe Democratic seats.
If appointed as attorney general, Schiff could be better positioned to run for one of California’s senate seats in a few years. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 87, has not yet said whether she will run for reelection in 2024, and former California Secretary of State Alex Padilla was just appointed by Newsom to succeed Vice President Kamala Harris, whose term expires in 2022.
Xavier Becerra, California’s former attorney general, recently resigned his position to become Biden’s Health and Human Services secretary, and Newsom has the authority to appoint his successor. In addition to appointing Padilla to the Senate, Newsom also named Shirley Weber as the California’s new secretary of state, meaning that the attorney general vacancy would be his third high-profile political appointment in the past two months.
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