A House Republican effort to censure California Rep. Adam Schiff over his involvement in the first impeachment of Donald Trump failed on Wednesday, with a few Republicans even voting against it.
The highly partisan measure, brought by Trump ally Representative Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, would have formally censured Schiff for "lying" about evidence that Trump colluded with Russia during his 2016 campaign, launched an ethics investigation against Schiff, and fined him $16 million — said to be half of what it cost to investigate the claims against Trump. The measure failed in a 225 to 196 vote to table it, with 20 House Republicans joining Democrats in killing it, as the New York Times reports.
This censure effort is just one of many launched by the hard right segment of the Republican Caucus to wage war on the Democrats, after Republicans gained their slim majority in the House in November. A similar measure has been filed by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida against Rep. Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, alleging that he improperly shared documents with the Biden Administration while chairing the committee investigating the January 6th insurrection.
As the Times notes, Schiff has been using the censure measure in order to attract donors to his nascent campaign for Dianne Feinstein's Senate seat.
On Wednesday, Schiff called the measure "political payback," and said it set "a dangerous precedent of going after someone who held a corrupt president accountable."
House Democrats spent much of Trump's presidency unsuccessfully investigating a number of matters relating to his business dealings and other actions before and after he was elected in 2016, and this censure of Schiff doesn't even directly relate to the evidence that led to his first impeachment in December 2019. That related to a quid-pro-quo phone call Trump had with the then newly elected Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in which Trump was trying to get Ukraine to launch an investigation into Joe Biden, and to say that it was Ukraine and not Russia that meddled in the 2016 election.
Also on Wednesday, disgraced New York Congressman George Santos put a comically hypocritically video on Twitter promoting the censure measure against Schiff, and sayig that Schiff abused his power in the investigation of Trump. "This abhorrent behavior is unacceptable for a member of Congress," says Santos, who has been implicated in everything from unemployment fraud to campaign finance abuses to doing terrible drag. He also, laughably, said that Schiff should be censured in order to "maintain the integrity of the House."
Schiff replied on Twitter, "You can't make this stuff up."
Top image: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 26: Congressman Adam Schiff speaks at the "Just Majority" Burbank Press Conference on May 26, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Demand Justice)