Effort to Censure and Fine Adam Schiff Over Trump-Russia Investigations Rejected by House

by Michael Nguyen
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The House of Representatives has dismissed a Republican attempt to censure Democratic Representative Adam Schiff from California and impose a fine on him for his remarks regarding former President Donald Trump and investigations into his connections with Russia.

Schiff, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the lead prosecutor in Trump’s initial impeachment trial, has long been a prominent target for Republicans. Following the Democrats’ reclaiming of the majority this year, Republicans prevented him from serving on the intelligence panel.

However, more than 20 Republicans joined Democrats on Wednesday to block the censure resolution or voted “present,” providing enough votes for Democrats to thwart the measure.

This outcome marked a rare victory for Democrats in the Republican-controlled House, prompting them to celebrate and congratulate Schiff after the vote concluded.

“I am flattered that they think I am so effective that they feel the need to target me in this manner,” stated Schiff, who is running for Senate in his liberal state. “It will not dissuade me.”

Following the vote, newly elected Republican Representative Anna Paulina Luna, who sponsored the resolution, encountered Schiff in the hallway and informed him that she would make another attempt.

Luna later tweeted that she would remove the section of the resolution proposing a $16 million fine if the House Ethics Committee determined that Schiff had “lied, made misrepresentations, and abused sensitive information.” Some Republicans, including Senator Thomas Massie of Kentucky, argued that the fine, which Luna stated was half the cost of the Mueller probe, would be unconstitutional.

“Next week, we will file a motion to censure and investigate Schiff,” Luna tweeted. “We are removing the fine, as it appears to be the aspect that made these Republicans uneasy.”

She concluded with a tweet: “See you next week, Adam.”

The resolution claims that Schiff, who held significant positions during Trump’s presidency, “misused this trust by asserting that there was evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.” Schiff emerged as one of the most vocal critics of the former president as both the Justice Department and the Republican-led House launched investigations into Trump’s ties to Russia in 2017.

“While repeatedly disseminating these falsehoods, Representative Schiff deliberately deceived his Committee, Congress, and the American people,” stated the resolution.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, who led the two-year investigation conducted by the Justice Department, determined that Russia interfered in the campaign to benefit Trump’s campaign, and that Trump’s campaign welcomed the assistance. However, Mueller’s team did not find evidence of a conspiracy to sway the election, and the Justice Department did not recommend any charges.

The congressional investigation, initiated by Republicans who held the majority at the time, similarly concluded that Russia meddled in the election but found no evidence of a conspiracy. Schiff was the leading Democrat on the panel at that time.

Had the House voted in favor of censuring him, Schiff would have been required to stand at the front of the chamber while the contents of the resolution were read aloud.

Schiff referred to the censure resolution as “red meat” thrown by Speaker Kevin McCarthy to appease his conference amid disputes over government spending during a press briefing on Tuesday. Schiff claimed that Republicans are trying to demonstrate their loyalty to Trump.

He also noted that during the impeachment proceedings three years ago, he warned the nation that Trump “would go on to do worse. And, of course, he did worse in the form of a violent attack on the Capitol.”

After the Democrats won the majority in the House in 2018, Trump was impeached for abuse of power, following his threats to withhold military aid to Ukraine and his urging of the Ukrainian president to investigate then-candidate Joe Biden. Schiff served as the lead House prosecutor in the Senate trial, repeatedly emphasizing that “right matters.” However, the Republican-led chamber ultimately acquitted Trump.

A year later, Trump was impeached for a second time, after leaving office, for his involvement in the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol carried out by his supporters. Once again, the Senate acquitted Trump.

Luna’s censure resolution against Schiff also referenced a May report by special counsel John Durham, which concluded that the FBI hastily initiated the investigation into Trump’s campaign and excessively relied on unverified intelligence.

Durham stated that investigators exhibited “confirmation bias,” dismissing or rationalizing evidence that contradicted their assumption of a Trump-Russia conspiracy while pushing forward with the probe. However, he did not allege that political bias or partisanship influenced the FBI’s actions.

Trump had claimed that Durham’s report would reveal the “crime of the century” and expose a “deep state conspiracy” involving high-ranking government officials seeking to derail his candidacy and presidency. Nonetheless, the investigation resulted in only one conviction—a guilty plea from an obscure FBI employee—and the two other cases brought forward both ended in acquittals at trial.

The House censure resolution comes shortly after Trump was indicted on extensive federal charges for hoarding classified documents, including sensitive national security material, and attempting to conceal them. House Republicans, many of whom remain loyal to Trump, view the indictment as evidence of a government conspiracy against the former president.

Representative Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, described the indictment as a “serious injustice” and pledged that House Republicans “will hold accountable this audacious abuse of power.”

Democratic Representative Jason Crow of Colorado, who served as an impeachment manager alongside Schiff, argued that Republicans are attempting to rewrite history.

“This is clearly a small group of Republican House members trying to fulfill Donald Trump’s wishes and divert attention from his significant legal issues,” Crow remarked.

This report includes contributions from Kevin Freking, a writer at Big Big News.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about censure

What was the outcome of the House vote on censuring and fining Adam Schiff?

The House rejected the effort to censure and fine Adam Schiff. More than 20 Republicans joined Democrats to block the resolution, resulting in a rare victory for Democrats.

Why was Adam Schiff targeted by Republicans?

Adam Schiff, the former Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and lead prosecutor in Trump’s first impeachment trial, has been a top Republican political target due to his outspoken criticism of former President Donald Trump and investigations into his ties to Russia.

Will Adam Schiff be deterred by the censure resolution?

No, Adam Schiff stated that the censure resolution will not deter him. He expressed that he is flattered by the Republicans’ targeting and that it will not dissuade him from his political pursuits, including running for Senate.

What did the censure resolution accuse Adam Schiff of?

The censure resolution accused Adam Schiff of abusing his trust and deliberately deceiving his committee, Congress, and the American people by repeatedly disseminating falsehoods about evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

What changes were made to the censure resolution?

Representative Anna Paulina Luna, the sponsor of the resolution, decided to remove the portion that proposed a $16 million fine. Some Republicans argued that the fine was unconstitutional. Luna stated that a motion to censure and investigate Schiff will be filed, focusing on removing the fine aspect that made Republicans uneasy.

Are there any further actions expected regarding the censure of Adam Schiff?

Yes, Representative Anna Paulina Luna indicated that she would try again with a motion to censure and investigate Schiff in the following week. The resolution’s removal of the fine suggests a revised approach in response to Republican concerns.

More about censure

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