Washington — A revived GOP-led effort to censure Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff for his role in congressional investigations of former President Donald Trump moved ahead on Wednesday, one week after.
Last week, 20 Republicans joined Democrats in voting to table the earlier resolution, blocking that effort to publicly reprimand him. Republican Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, an ardent Trump supporter, then tweaked the measure to remove a potential $16 million fine for Schiff that several Republicans considered unconstitutional.
Democrats tried to table the new resolution on Wednesday, but the vote failed 208 to 218, with all Republicans voting to advance the measure. The motion to table needed a simple majority to pass.
Luna introduced the resolution as privileged, fast-tracking its consideration under House rules. The chamber immediately began debating the matter after the vote on the motion to table, teeing up a vote on final passage as early as Wednesday evening.
“As chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff launched an all out political campaign built on baseless distortions against a sitting U.S. president at the expense of every single citizen in this country and the honor of the House of Representatives,” Luna said Wednesday, calling the resolution “a clear vote between right and wrong.”
Censure is essentially a formal public reprimand by the House to punish misconduct that falls short of warranting expulsion. The censured member typically must stand on the House floor as the resolution detailing his or her offenses is read aloud.
Twenty-four House lawmakers have been censured in U.S. history, most recently in 2021, when GOP Rep. Paul Gosar wasfor tweeting a video depicting violence against President Biden and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The revised resolution calls for the House Ethics Committee to investigate Schiff, the former chair of the House Intelligence Committee and current candidate for Senate in California, for his alleged “falsehoods, misrepresentations and abuses of sensitive information.”
It claims Schiff “abused” the public’s trust “by alleging he had evidence of collusion” between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia and also accuses him of acting “dishonestly and dishonorably.”
Schiff and Democrats have framed the effort to censure him as retaliation for his prominent role in Trump’s first impeachment, and said it is meant to distract from the federal indictment alleging Trump hid classified documents and obstructed the government’s efforts to retrieve them. Schiff has been highly critical of Trump and served as the House’s lead prosecutor in his first impeachment trial.
“To my Republican colleagues who introduced this resolution, I thank you,” Schiff said Wednesday. “You honor me with your enmity. You flatter me with this falsehood. You, who are the authors of a big lie about the last election, must condemn the truth-tellers and I stand proudly before you. Your words tell me that I have been effective in the defense of our democracy and I am grateful.”
Schiff said he will wear the “partisan vote as a badge of honor.”
Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin said the vote shows the Republican Party has become “an authoritarian cult of personality” after Trump said the Republicans who voted to table the resolution last week should face primary challengers.
“The GOP simply has no ideas for our economy, no ideas for our country, and no ideas for our people,” Raskin said. “But is on an embarrassing revenge tour on behalf of Donald Trump, who treats them like a ventriloquist dummy.”