Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the House Intelligence Committee chair who led the first impeachment effort against President Donald Trump, is reportedly eyeing the California attorney general position, Axios reported.
The position was most recently held by former California state legislator Xavier Becerra who had taken over for now-Vice President Kamala Harris in 2018. Now, with Becerra nominated to serve in the Biden administration as Health and Human Services secretary, the spot is open once again.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has said he will make his appointment after Becerra has been confirmed by the Senate, according to The Associated Press.
According to the report from Axios, “Schiff is quietly lobbying Gov. Gavin Newsom and his allies to appoint him California’s next attorney general.”
Axios cited “people familiar with the matter” as the source for its report.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is reportedly on board with this plan as well, despite the fact that “House Democrats would lose a powerful party voice in the U.S. House and temporarily give up a seat in their slim 221-211 majority,” Axios explained.
“Nonetheless Pelosi has given her approval to Schiff’s bid, a clear sign she thinks she can manage without him,” the outlet continued.
This all seems somewhat unexpected as the Los Angeles Times reported in 2018 that Pelosi had been preparing Schiff to be her replacement as House speaker.
What is unclear is whether Newsom, who according to the AP does not have close ties with Schiff, is on board with making the Democratic lawmaker California’s next attorney general. Newsom is currently facing a strong recall effort, and it may be too risky for him to appoint someone like Schiff to the position.
If Newsom does give Schiff the nod, Schiff has plans to use the state attorney general position to set himself up for a U.S. Senate run, according to Axios.
Axios reported that Schiff would target the California Senate seat that is currently held by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
At 87 years old, Feinstein is America’s oldest sitting senator and her political career may soon be coming to an end. The senator has yet to announce whether she will run for reelection in 2024.