House votes to censure Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff
The House of Representatives has voted to censure Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff for his past actions while chair of the House Intelligence Committee in leading investigations into then-President Donald Trump.
The vote was entirely along party lines, with the California congressman calling the resolution "false and defamatory." Democrats attempted to kill the bill from advancing but were outvoted.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy called Schiff to the well of the chamber as he read the censure resolution out loud. Democratic members shouted loudly as McCarthy began to read the resolution, causing him to stop and start several times.
"I have all night," McCarthy said as he was interrupted by boos from Democratic members.
The resolution claims Schiff misled the American public over the course of congressional investigations into the Trump campaign's potential ties to Russia, given that other probes have not found conclusive evidence that Trump colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
"Mr. Schiff exploited his position as chair of Intel Committee, and every opportunity possible, threatening national security, undermining our duly elected president and bringing dishonor upon the institution," said Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., Wednesday afternoon ahead of the vote.
Luna has spearheaded the effort to censure Schiff. Wednesday's vote came a week after nearly two dozen Republican House members voted alongside Democrats to table a similar motion that would have imposed a $16 million fine on Schiff. Luna's updated resolution, which instead censures him and refers him to the House Ethics Committee for a probe, brought the Republicans on board who didn't support the measure last week.
Schiff, who gained national recognition during his participation in the Trump probes — including as lead manager during Trump's first impeachment trial — is a frequent target of Republicans and Trump himself.
Schiff is running for Senate in California and has been fundraising off of the possible censure.
Ahead of the vote, Schiff thanked his GOP colleagues for offering the resolution.
"You honor me with your enmity. You flatter me with this falsehood. You, who are the authors of a big lie about the last election, must condemn the truth tellers and I stand proudly before you," Schiff said on the House floor.
"I led the first impeachment of Donald Trump, for one of the most egregious presidential abuses of power in our history, and I led a trial which resulted in the first bipartisan vote to remove a president in history," he said.
"I would do so again. I warned that if Trump was not held accountable, he would go on to try to cheat in even worse ways in the next election, and he did, inciting a violent attack on this very Capitol," Schiff added, referencing the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The House last voted to censure a member in 2021, when Democrats were in control of the chamber. They issued a formal rebuke to Arizona GOP Rep. Paul Gosar for posting an anime-style video on social media that depicted the killing of Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
Wednesday's resolution against Schiff isn't the only hot-button measure the House could vote on this week. Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has introduced impeachment resolutions targeting members of the Biden administration, and Colorado GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert has offered a privileged resolution to impeach Biden himself. It's unclear when potential votes on those resolutions would take place.
Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.