The US House of Representatives voted 213-209 to censure Rep. Adam Schiff of California.
The US House of Representatives voted 213-209 to censure Rep. Adam Schiff of California for having “abused” the trust of the Intelligence Committee by citing evidence of collusion that “does not exist” and by telling those falsehoods he “purposefully deceived his Committee, Congress, and the American people.”
- The resolution, sponsored by GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, goes on to assail Schiff for lending credibility to the Steele Dossier, which has now been largely debunked, and for “publicly smearing Carter Page as a Russian collaborator” and thereby contributing to violations of his civil liberties.
- The House voted largely along party lines, with all Democrats opposing the resolution and nearly all Republicans supporting it, although six House Republicans abstained. A censure is a rare rebuke and the highest form of condemnation the House can level on one of its own members short of expulsion.
- The measure called for the House Ethics Committee to open an investigation into Schiff’s conduct. The censure resolution is the second attempt by House Republicans to punish Schiff for his conduct during the height of the Trump-Russia investigation in 2017-2018.
- Democrats vigorously protested the censure on the House floor and shouted “Shame! Shame! Shame!” after the vote passed. Schiff was unrepentant and called the censure a “badge of honor.”
- “Knowing that I have lived my oath. Knowing that I have done my duty, to hold a dangerous and out of control president accountable,” said Schiff after the historic rebuke. He continued, “And knowing that I would do so again — in a heartbeat — if the circumstances should ever require it.”
- A previous resolution was defeated after 20 Republicans objected to a provision that would have fined Schiff $16 million, or half the cost of the Mueller probe. Luna removed that provision to mollify those members.
- The Washington Post Editorial Board argued Schiff’s censure “says more about” House Republicans than it does about Schiff. The Post argued the vote “weakened the power of congressional censure as an official rebuke reserved for egregious conduct” and in fact it was the Republicans who were the “wrongdoers” in this situation.
- CNN explained why five Republican House members – Reps. Michael Guest, Dave Joyce, Andrew Garbarino, John Rutherford, and Michelle Fischbach – voted present on the resolution. The five are members of the House Ethics Committee, and voted present in case Schiff’s conduct comes before their committee. GOP Rep. Ken Buck also voted present, although he is not a member of the Ethics Committee.
- The New York Times covered how McCarthy used the Schiff censure to argue against Rep. Lauren Boebert’s move to try and impeach President Joe Biden. McCarthy told the House GOP they “would look inconsistent if they pressed to censure Mr. Schiff for what Republicans believe was a politicized impeachment process, and then turned around and impeached Mr. Biden before the House committees investigating the Biden administration and the business interests of Biden family members had finished their work.”
- Chaos engulfed the House floor just after the vote to censure Schiff, as the New York Post reported. Democrats mobbed the dais and chanted “shame” and “Santos” for approximately five minutes before McCarthy was able to quiet them and formally censure Schiff.
- Fox News noted the censure “is not the first time House Republicans have used their majority in this Congress to target Schiff. McCarthy pulled Schiff off the Intelligence Committee this year for promoting claims that the 2016 Trump campaign was working with Russia, an allegation that was never proven.”
- The Wall Street Journal noted, “censure carries no practical weight but is the highest form of discipline by the House short of expulsion.” Schiff is only the third member of Congress to be censured in the 21st Century.
© Dominic Moore, 2023