The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to censure Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., for pushing claims that former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia — a vote that made Schiff just the third member of the House to be censured since the turn of the century.
The resolution passed 213-209 in a vote — every Republican voted for it except for six who voted ‘present,’ and every Democrat voted against it.
Immediately following the vote, Democrats gathered on the floor and chanted ‘Shame!’ and ‘Disgrace!’ as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., tried to gavel the House in order for several minutes. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., was heard calling McCarthy a ‘spiteful coward’ and accusing him of ‘weak leadership.’
McCarthy then asked Schiff to present himself in the well of the House, and Democrats clapped and cheered as he approached. After being interrupted several times by Democrats, McCarthy said, ‘I have all night.’
Schiff then stood in well of the House as required by the resolution, and was hugged and cheered by dozens of Democrats who surrounded him. The measure also requires the House Committee on Ethics to investigate Schiff’s ‘falsehoods, misrepresentations, and abuses of sensitive information.’
It was the second time the House tried to pass a resolution censuring Schiff from Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla. A resolution from Luna failed on the House floor last week because it recommended a fine against Schiff of $16 million, which Democrats and 20 Republicans opposed.
With that language removed, the resolution was able to pass on a party-line vote, which Luna said was needed to fight back against Schiff’s ‘lies’ about Trump.
‘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 before the vote. ‘With access to sensitive information unavailable to most members of Congress and certainly not accessible to the American people, Schiff abused his privileges, claiming to know the truth while leaving Americans in the dark about his web of lies… lies so severe that they altered the course of the country forever.’
Schiff spoke in his own defense on the House floor, and thanked Republicans for bringing the resolution forward again.
‘To my Republican colleagues who introduced this resolution, I thank you. You honor me with your enmity, you flatter me with this falsehood,’ Schiff said.
‘You, who are the authors of a big lie about the last election, must condemn the truth tellers,’ he said. ‘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 was a leader of Trump’s first impeachment proceeding, which was launched over a phone call made to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in which he tried to leverage U.S. military aid in a bid to get him to announce an investigation of now-President Biden.
Democrats tried to table the resolution to censure Schiff on Wednesday but failed in a 218-208 vote along party lines.
Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not mince words when she accused Republicans of doing Trump’s bidding and told them they looked ‘miserable’ in the process.
‘The other side has turned this chamber where slavery was abolished, where Medicare and Social Security and everything were instituted, they’ve turned it into a puppet show,’ Pelosi said. ‘And you know what? The puppeteer, Donald Trump, is shining a light on the strings. You look miserable. You look miserable… you’re wasting time.’
The vote 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.