Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff Dodges Bullet: House Votes Against Bill Censuring Him for Russia-Trump ‘Lies’

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday against condemning and censuring Democrat Representative Adam Schiff of California for insisting that former President Donald Trump colluded with Russia in a push to win the 2016 election. In a 225-196 vote, lawmakers decided to set aside the censure resolution against Schiff, preventing a vote on passage and effectively killing it. 

The resolution was introduced by GOP Representative Anna Paulina Luna and was opposed by 20 Republicans as other Republican legislators voted “present” along with five Democrats. 

The resolution was known to be on shaky ground with some Republicans. One expected to vote “no,” was Rep. Tom Massie, R-Ky., who said he opposed the idea of fining Schiff. The resolution that was 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),” Massie tweeted Wednesday. 

“The Constitution says the House may make its own rules, but we can’t violate other (later) provisions of the Constitution,” added Massie. “A $16 million fine is a violation of the 27th and 8th amendments.”

Joining with Massie, the 19 other Republicans voting with Democrats to kill the resolution were Representatives Tom Cole of Oklahoma, Juan Ciscomani of Arizona, Kay Granger of Texas, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, Michael Lawler of New York, Jay Obernolte of California, Michael Turner of Ohio, Thomas Kean of New Jersey, Warren Davidson of Ohio, Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Oregon, Kevin Kiley of California, Marcus Molinaro of New York, Michael Simpson of Idaho, David Valadao of California, Young Kim of California, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Garret Graves of Louisiana, Steve Womack of Arkansas and Tom McClintock of California. 

It remains unclear if House Republicans will try the resolution again

It remained unclear late Wednesday whether House Republicans might try again with a resolution against Schiff that leave out mentions of possible fines. The resolution that failed on the floor of the House Wednesday said claims of Russia-Trump collusion were created by Trump’s political opponents and pursued by the Department of Justice despite the lack of any strong foundation for suspected collusion. 

The resolution states the Democrats’ claims of collusion were “revealed as false” by “numerous” investigations, including Special Counsel John Durham’s probe into how the probe into Trump was launched. The resolution maintains the report and reports from DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Special Counsel Robert Mueller 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,” said the resolution. 

“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,” the resolution read.

“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 added.

“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 condemn and censure Schiff’s actions for misleading the American public “in a way not befitting” an elected member of the House.

While the resolution is read in full, Schiff would be required to stand in the well of the House. It would also require an investigation into Schiff’s “lies, misrepresentations, and abuses of sensitive information” by the House Committee on Ethics.”