House GOP Votes To Censure Rep. Adam Schiff Over Role In Trump Investigations

The House GOP on Wednesday voted to publicly censure California Democratic  Rep. Adam Schiff for his prominent role in Democratic investigations into former President Donald Trump.

The resolution, which passed with a vote of 213-209, formally reprimands Schiff and instructs the House Ethics Committee to look into his actions. All five Republican members of the House ethics panel, along with Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), voted “present” on the resolution.

Last week, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.), the sponsor of the resolution, and other conservatives attempted to propose a similar censure motion. However, 20 Republicans opposed it due to concerns about language that could have led to a $16 million fine for Schiff, unless he resigned from Congress. These Republicans, along with most Democrats, prevented the resolution from advancing to a full House vote. To address their concerns, Luna removed that provision from the resolution.

Schiff has long been a target for Republicans due to his involvement in the Trump investigations, including the House inquiry into the former president’s connections to Russia and his initial impeachment. Luna stated that Schiff had “launched an aggressive political campaign against a sitting president” and had “misused his privileges” as the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee. Earlier this year, Speaker Kevin McCarthy removed Schiff from that position.

This vote reflects a trend of conservative-driven “privileged” resolutions, which bypass the committee process and require a swift floor vote. The House GOP’s right-wing faction also intends to force votes on other contentious matters, such as the impeachment of President Joe Biden and his Cabinet secretaries, despite the opposition from party leadership.

Luna’s censure motion mandated that Schiff receive a verbal rebuke while standing in the well of the House chamber, in addition to triggering an ethics investigation. Following the vote, Democrats showed support for Schiff as he approached to receive the reprimand, chanting “Adam” and “shame” while McCarthy presided over the House chamber.

Schiff, on his part, has embraced his role as a favorite target of Republicans amidst the weeks-long campaign to punish him. Speaking on the House floor shortly after the resolution moved forward, he sarcastically expressed gratitude to Republicans for their “hostility” and mentioned that their “falsehood” flattered him.

“Your words indicate that I have been effective in defending our democracy, and I appreciate it,” he remarked. In a reference to Luna’s previous version of the resolution that included a hefty fine, Schiff jokingly suggested that Republicans “might as well make it $160 million. You will never deter me from fulfilling my duty.”

Censuring members of the House is a rare occurrence, with the most recent instance taking place in 2021 when the Democratic majority reprimanded Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) for sharing an anime video on social media depicting him harming Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and attacking President Joe Biden.

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