WASHINGTON (AP) — The House voted Wednesday to censure California Rep. Adam Schiff for comments he made several years ago about investigations into Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, rebuking the Democrat and frequent critic of the former president along party lines.
Schiff becomes the 25th House lawmaker to be censured. He was defiant ahead of the vote, saying he will wear the formal disapproval as a “badge of honor” and charging his GOP colleagues of doing the former president’s bidding.
When it was time for Schiff to come to the front of the chamber to be formally censured, immediately after the vote, the normally solemn ceremony turned into more of a celebratory atmosphere. Dozens of Democrats crowded to the front, clapping and cheering for Schiff and patting him on the back. They chanted “No!,” “Shame!” and “Adam! Adam!”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., read the resolution out loud, as is tradition after a censure. But he only read part of the document before leaving the chamber as Democrats heckled and interrupted him.
“Censure all of us,” one Democrat yelled.
Schiff, the former Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the lead prosecutor in Trump’s first impeachment trial, has long been a top Republican political target. Soon after taking back the majority this year, Republicans blocked him from sitting on the intelligence panel.
The revised resolution says Schiff held positions of power during Trump’s presidency and “abused this trust by saying there was evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.” Schiff was one of the most outspoken critics of the former president as both the Justice Department and the Republican-led House launched investigations into Trump’s ties to Russia in 2017. Both investigations concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 presidential election but neither found evidence of a criminal conspiracy.
“Representative Schiff purposely deceived his Committee, Congress, and the American people,” the resolution said.
The censure itself carries no practical effect, except to provide a historic footnote that marks a lawmaker’s career. But the GOP resolution would also launch an ethics investigation into Schiff’s conduct.
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