Schiff presses Newsom to become California’s next attorney general


Representative Adam Schiff is quietly pressuring Gov. Gavin Newsom and his allies to appoint him as California’s next attorney general, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why is this important: If Newsom chooses Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and confidant of President Nancy Pelosi, House Democrats would lose a powerful party voice in the US House and temporarily relinquish a seat in their slim majority 221-211.

  • Nonetheless, Pelosi gave her approval to Schiff’s offer, a clear sign that she believes she can get by without him. according to people familiar with the subject. Spokesmen for Schiff and Pelosi declined to comment.
  • The attorney general’s work would also better position Schiff, a high-profile Democrat who led the Russian investigation into then-President Trump, to run for Senator Dianne Feinstein’s seat, if the 87-year-old woman decided not to run for office in 2024.
  • The post of GA is left vacant by Xavier Becerra, whom President Biden appointed as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The big picture: While Schiff represents the 28th district based in Los Angeles, California, a safe seat for Democrats, it would take about six months for a special election to select his successor.

  • According to article 1, section 2 of the Constitution, vacancies in the Chamber are not filled by appointment – as in the Senate – only by election.

Driving the news: Once Becerra is confirmed, Newsom has the power to appoint his replacement as Attorney General.

  • It would mark the third high-profile appointment for Newsom, which called on Secretary of State Alex Padilla to replace Kamala Harris in the Senate, making him the state’s first Hispanic U.S. senator.
  • Newsom went on to serve as Padilla with Shirley Weber, making her the state’s first black secretary of state.

The plot: Newsom, whose approval rating dropped to 31% in the face of a recall effort, has not publicly indicated who he is inclined to choose for the post of attorney general, but lobbying campaigns statewide heat up.

  • Other potential candidates are Rob Bonta, a member of the state assembly, and Rick Chavez Zbur, director of Equality California, an LGBTQ advocacy group, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • “It’s pretty clear that there are advocates for their favorites,” said Bill Carrick, a California political strategist. “But it is not clear that this will influence the only person who will make the decision: Governor Gavin Newsom.”
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