On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted to censure Democrat Representative Adam Schiff of California for pushing claims that former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia — a vote that made Schiff only the third member of the House to be censured since the turn of the century.
The resolution passed on a 213-209 vote, with every Republican voting for it except for six who voted “present” and every Democrat voting against it.
Immediately after the vote, Democrats gathered on the House floor and shouted “Disgrace!” and “Shame!” as GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy attempted to gavel the House to order for several minutes. Democrat Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota called Speaker McCarthy a “spiteful coward” and accused him of “weak leadership.”
Speaker McCarthy then asked Schiff to present himself in the well of the House while Democrats cheered and clapped as he approached. After being interrupted several times by Democrats, McCarthy said, “I have all night.”
As required by the resolution, Schiff then stood in the well of the House and was cheered and hugged 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 that censured Schiff from Republican Representative Anna Paulina Luna of Florida. A resolution from Luna failed on the floor of the House last week because it recommended a fine against Schiff of $15 million, which 20 Republicans and all Democrats opposed.
With the language removed, the resolution was able to pass on a party-line vote, which Luna said was necessary 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,” said Luna 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.”
Rep. Schiff spoke in his own defense on the floor of the House
Rep. Schiff spoke in his own defense on the floor of the House 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,” said Schiff.
“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.”
Representative Schiff was a leader of Trump’s first impeachment proceeding, which was launched over a phone call he made to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, during which it was alleged he tried to leverage U.S. military aid in a bid to get him to announce an investigation of now-President Joe Biden.
Previously House Republicans used their majority in Congress to go after Schiff. McCarthy pulled Schiff off the Intelligence Committee this year for promoting claims that the 2016 Trump campaign was colluding with Russia, a disproven allegation.