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Conspiracy theory time. Interim Speaker of the House Patrick McHenry wasted no time before booting Nancy Pelosi from the “hideaway” office. He ordered her to vacate the office almost immediately, which is a privilege afforded to a very select few in the House.
According to Harold Hutchison at Daily Caller:
McHenry ordered Pelosi to move out in an email sent hours after eight Republicans voted to remove House Speaker Kevin McCarthy along with 208 Democrats in a 216-210 vote Tuesday, according to Politico. Pelosi served as Speaker from 2019 to 2023 before Democrats lost the House of Representatives, despite Republicans underperforming expectations of a “red wave” nationally.
“Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,” an email from the House Administration Committee to Pelosi’s staff said, Politico reported.
McHenry, who serves as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was McCarthy’s first choice to serve as Speaker pro tempore in the event that he was forced out, according to Politico.
“Sadly, because I am in California to mourn the loss of and pay tribute to my dear friend Dianne Feinstein, I am unable to retrieve my belongings at this time,” Pelosi told Politico.
There’s a decent conspiracy theory floating around, but let’s start with the most obvious possible reason why Kevin McCarthy refused to boot her before McHenry rushed to do so. Privileges granted by the Speaker of the House are often considered courtesies, especially for adversaries. Pelosi, for example, allowed her predecessor to retain privileged office space for a time.
“This eviction is a sharp departure from tradition,” Pelosi said. “As Speaker, I gave former Speaker [Dennis] Hastert a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished.”
As for why McHenry would boot her so quickly, it seems reasonable that he was simply lashing out after all Democrats joined eight Republicans in removing McCarthy from the Speaker position. Perhaps McCarthy and McHenry, who are close friends, appealed to Pelosi to intervene with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. When the vote came down, it was clear that McHenry was livid.
Now, let’s turn to Rogan O’Handley for the other prominent theory…
I think the only reason McCarthy allowed Pelosi to keep the Speaker’s hideaway office is b/c she had leverage on him. She either knew of potential affair(s) or his dirty deals with Sequoia Capital and said “you work for me now.”
Think about that. We took the House but Pelosi still kept the Speaker’s office. McCarthy was working for Pelosi the entire time. That’s why nothing got done except performative theater.
I think the only reason McCarthy allowed Pelosi to keep the Speaker’s hideaway office is b/c she had leverage on him
She either knew of potential affair(s) or his dirty deals with Sequoia Capital and said “you work for me now”
Think about that
We took the House but Pelosi… https://t.co/JSt4nXKIOL
— DC_Draino (@DC_Draino) October 4, 2023
Washington DC in general and Capitol Hill in particular have at their foundations the battle over leverage. Who has what on whom? The tangled web is immense. It seems very possible that Pelosi knows something about McCarthy and used her leverage to keep her privileged office. If that’s the case, then O’Handley may be correct in assuming she and possibly other Democrats used leverage over McCarthy to keep their agenda on track even with a Republican majority in the House.
Who knows? Someone does. What’s clear is that none of us are likely to ever know the truth.