The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted against the idea of censuring and condemning Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., for insisting that former President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.
In a 225-196 vote, lawmakers decided to set aside the censure resolution against Schiff, effectively killing it and preventing a vote on passage. The resolution, introduced by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., was opposed by 20 Republicans as two other GOP lawmakers voted ‘present’ along with five Democrats.
The resolution was known to be on shaky ground with some Republicans. One expected ‘no’ vote, Rep. Tom Massie, R-Ky., said he opposed the idea of a fine against Schiff — the resolution up Wednesday recommended a $16 million fine but did not require it.
‘Adam Schiff acted unethically but if a resolution to fine him $16 million comes to the floor I will vote to table it. (vote against it),’ he tweeted Wednesday.
‘The Constitution says the House may make its own rules but we can’t violate other (later) provisions of the Constitution,’ he added. ‘A $16 million fine is a violation of the 27th and 8th amendments.’
Along with Massie, the 19 other Republicans voting with Democrats to kill the resolution were Reps. Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, Lori Chavez-DeRemer or Oregon, Juan Ciscomani of Arizona, Tom Cole of Oklahoma, Warren Davidson of Ohio, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Kay Granger of Texas, Garret Graves of Louisiana, Thomas Kean of New Jersey, Kevin Kiley of California, Young Kim of California, Michael Lawler of New York, Tom McClintock of California, Marcus Molinaro of New York, Jay Obernolte of California, Michael Simpson of Idaho, Michael Turner of Ohio, David Valadao of California and Steve Womack of Arkansas.
It wasn’t clear late Wednesday whether House Republicans might try again with a resolution against Schiff that leaves out all mentions of possible fines.
The resolution that failed on the House floor Wednesday said claims of Trump-Russia collusion were cooked up by Trump’s political opponents and pursued by the Department of Justice despite the lack of any solid foundation for suspecting collusion.
The resolution says the Democrats’ claims of collusion were ‘revealed as false’ by ‘numerous’ investigations, including Special Counsel John Durham’s probe into how the investigation into Trump was launched. It says that report, and reports from Special Counsel Robert Mueller and DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, show that collusion ‘does not exist’ despite Schiff’s public claims to the contrary.
‘By repeatedly telling these falsehoods, Representative Schiff purposely deceived his Committee, Congress, and the American people,’ the resolution says.
‘Representative Schiff lent credibility to the Steele dossier — a collection of debunked collusion accusations funded by President Trump’s political rivals — by reading false Steele allegations into the Congressional Record,’ it says.
‘Representative Schiff composed a false memo justifying the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application on Trump associate Carter Page, which Inspector General Horowitz later found was riddled with 17 major mistakes and omissions, provoking FISA Court Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer to state unequivocally that the Federal Bureau of Investigation ‘[misled] the FISC,” it adds.
‘Representative Schiff used his position and access to sensitive information to instigate a fraudulently based investigation, which he then used to amass political gain and fundraising dollars,’ it says. ‘The American taxpayers paid $32 million to fund the investigation into collusion that was launched as a result of Representative Schiff’s lies, misrepresentations, and abuses of sensitive information.’
If the resolution were to pass, it would formally censure and condemn Schiff’s actions for misleading the public ‘in a way that is not befitting’ an elected member of the House.
It would require Schiff to stand in the well of the House while the resolution is read in full.
And it would require an investigation into Schiff’s ‘lies, misrepresentations and abuses of sensitive information’ by the House Committee on Ethics.