A Republican effort to censure Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., for alleging collusion between Donald Trump and Russia during the former president’s 2016 campaign was blocked Wednesday.
A motion to table the resolution − brought by House Democrats and joined by 20 Republican lawmakers − was adopted, effectively killing the measure. The House voted 225-196 to table the legislation.
The resolution also sought to fine Schiff $16 million, or half the cost of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump and Russia’s alleged ties. It was introduced last month by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., a member of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus.
A freshman lawmaker and Trump loyalist, Luna brought the measure to the floor as a privileged resolution Tuesday, forcing action on it. A simple majority was needed to pass the resolution.
“(Schiff) abused his position of authority, lied to the American people, cost American tax payers millions and brought dishonor to our chamber,” Luna alleged Tuesday.
Schiff said Wednesday he is “flattered” by the effort to censure him and suggested the resolution was introduced as a distraction from Trump’s legal woes. The former president was arraigned in Miami Tuesday in connection with a federal probe into his retention of classified documents, the same day Luna brought the measure to the floor.
“This is really an effort, at the end of the day, to distract from Donald Trump’s legal problems, to gratify Donald Trump by going after someone they feel was his most effective adversary,” Schiff said on “CNN This Morning.”
He also called the resolution a “terrible abuse of House resources.” The California Democrat previously chaired the House Intelligence Committee and led the first impeachment inquiry into Trump, which resulted in the House voting to impeach the former president for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The measure said Schiff would be fined the $16 million if a House Ethics Committee investigation determined he “lied, made misrepresentations and abused sensitive information.” House Leader Steve Scalise expressed support for the resolution, while other top Republicans demurred.
Other House lawmakers have been censured in recent years. Former Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, the only Republicans who sat on the House committee that investigated the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, were censured by the Republican National Committee in February 2022 for opposing Trump and investigating the riot. In November 2021, the House voted 223-207 to censure Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., for posting an anime video that was edited to show him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and attacking President Joe Biden