Rep. Adam Schiff Survives Motion to Censure Him Over Russian Collusion Claims
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has successfully avoided formal condemnation and a hefty fine of $16 million after surviving a motion to censure him over his claims of Russian collusion with former President Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
The House voted 225-196 to table the motion, falling just short of the required 218 majority votes needed to censure Schiff. The allegations against him revolve around the accusation that he abused the trust of his constituents by pushing claims that Trump conspired with Russia to secure victory in the 2016 presidential race. Schiff has long been a target of House GOP members, particularly due to his prominent role in Trump’s first impeachment in 2019.
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“It’s kind of a grab-bag of Fox attacks,” Schiff told CNN before the vote. “[It] is essentially a censure resolution based on the fact that I investigated and led the first impeachment of Donald Trump to a bipartisan vote to convict… But this is really an effort at the end of the day to distract from Donald Trump’s legal problems [and] to gratify Donald Trump by going after someone they feel was his most effective adversary. I’m flattered by it.”
Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) introduced the measure on Tuesday, building on her previous efforts to remove Schiff from office altogether. However, the motion ultimately failed after 20 Republicans joined Democrats to table the measure, effectively killing the legislation. Seven members voted “present” on the measure, including two Republicans and five Democrats.
“The president’s MAGA advocates are really championing this thing,” Schiff said. “But I can say this: The speaker is the one who decides to bring this before the House… It just goes to show where his priorities are right now. His priorities are distracting from the dysfunction of his own House membership and distracting from the pressing legal problems of his party leader Donald Trump.”
Luna filed the motion after Schiff, who previously led the House Intelligence Committee, pushed unproven allegations of Trump-Russia collusion for years and touted British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s discredited dossier. These claims faced renewed scrutiny earlier this year with the release of the Durham report, which concluded that the FBI had no proper basis for launching the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into Trump and Russia in 2016.
The report found that the investigation was fundamentally flawed, as there was no legitimate reason to initiate it in the first place. It also revealed that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign played a significant role in promoting collusion claims to the media and the FBI.
Schiff vehemently rejected the motion, denouncing it as a “terrible misuse of House precedent and resources” and an “attack” on the Constitution.
“Our GOP colleagues are using the leverage and resources of the House majority to rewrite history and promulgate far-right conspiracy theories — all to protect and serve Donald Trump,” Schiff said in a letter to colleagues on Tuesday. “This resolution plainly demonstrates the lengths our GOP colleagues will go to protect Donald Trump’s infinite lies — lies that incited a violent attack on this very building.”
A censure vote does not result in the removal of a lawmaker from office or impose any tangible punishment. Instead, it serves as a symbolic vote to express dissatisfaction with a lawmaker’s voting record or personal conduct. However, this move could potentially have consequences for Schiff as he seeks to replace the retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in the Senate.
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