In a crucial House vote on Wednesday, a Republican-led effort to censure Democratic Representative Adam Schiff fell short. The motion to table, or dismiss, the resolution was proposed by House Democrats, and enough Republicans broke ranks to support the motion, successfully blocking the censure. The final vote tally was 225 to 196, with 20 Republicans joining Democrats to table the resolution.
The censure resolution, introduced by Republican Representative Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, broadly criticized Schiff, with a particular focus on his involvement in investigations concerning the former President Trump.
Republicans have been criticizing Schiff for his congressional inquiries into the former President, arguing that he has made baseless and irresponsible claims. Democrats, on the other hand, have dismissed the GOP’s criticisms of the California Democrat as partisan and unfounded.
According to the resolution, Schiff is accused of “exploiting his positions on HPSCI (House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence) to encourage and justify unwarranted intelligence investigations of Americans for political gain.” The resolution further alleged that he “utilized his authority and access to sensitive information to initiate an investigation based on fraudulent claims, subsequently using it to accrue political advantage and fundraising funds.”
Schiff responded to his colleagues in a letter, labeling the resolution as “false” and “defamatory,” and asserting that it targets him for his “efforts to hold Donald Trump accountable.”
He stated, “While I am honored to have earned their animosity, attempting to censure those who defend the Constitution against a corrupt president establishes a dangerous precedent.”
The legislative text also stipulates that if an Ethics Committee investigation were to ascertain that Schiff “lied, misrepresented facts, and misused sensitive information,” he would be subject to a fine of $16 million.
During his tenure as Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff announced an extensive investigation in February 2019 into the finances of then-President Donald Trump and Russia. Schiff also served as the lead House impeachment manager during Trump’s initial impeachment. In that capacity, Schiff, along with other impeachment managers, presented the House’s case for the removal of Trump from office during the Senate trial. Ultimately, the Senate acquitted Trump.
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