A Republican-led bid against Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff failed in a key House vote.
The House voted Wednesday on a resolution to advance — or kill — a motion put forward by House Democrats. Enough Republicans crossed the aisle to support the effort to succeed in blocking censorship. The vote was 225 to 196 with 20 Republicans joining the Democrats in filing the resolution.
The resolution of censure, sponsored by GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, broadly criticizes Schiff, focusing on his role in the former president’s investigations.
Republicans have long criticized Schiff’s handling of congressional investigations into the former president. Democrats have dismissed GOP criticism of the California Democrat as partisan and baseless.
Schiff “used his positions on HPSCI (the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence) to promote and condone improper intelligence investigations of Americans for political purposes,” the resolution states.
“He used his position and access to sensitive information to instigate a fraud-based investigation, which he then used for political gain and fundraising,” the indictment alleges.
Schiff, in a letter to colleagues, called the resolution “false” and “defamatory,” saying it targets his “work to hold Donald Trump accountable.”
“While I am proud to have earned their enmity, trying to pit defenders of the Constitution against a corrupt president sets a dangerous precedent,” Schiff wrote.
The legislative text also says Schiff should be fined $16 million if an ethics committee investigation determines he “lied, misrepresented and misappropriated sensitive information.”
Schiff told CNN’s Manu Raju on Tuesday that he believes the fines proposed in the resolution are “unconstitutional and unenforceable,” adding that some Republicans have expressed doubts about supporting the resolution.
Ahead of the vote, GOP Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massey said he would join Democrats in voting against the censure resolution.
“Adam Schiff behaved unethically, but if a resolution to fine him $16 million comes to the floor, I will vote to table it. (Vote against it) In fact, I have filed a federal lawsuit against Pelosi over the pay cuts she imposed on me for refusing to wear a mask,” Massey tweeted.
While serving as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff announced a sweeping investigation into then-President Donald Trump’s finances and Russia in February 2019.
Schiff also served as lead House impeachment manager during Trump’s first impeachment. In that role, Schiff and other impeachment managers outlined the House’s case to impeach Trump in Senate hearings. The Senate eventually voted to acquit.
This story and topic have been updated with additional improvements.