The House voted on party lines Wednesday to censure Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) as a formal condemnation for Schiff’s outspoken promotion of allegations that former President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election.
The vote passed 213 to 209. Six voted present, including five Republicans on the House Ethics Committee, who are now required to probe Schiff as part of the resolution, and Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO).
Democrats, who unanimously opposed the vote, could be seen rallying around Schiff at the conclusion of it, chanting “Shame! Shame!” and “Disgrace!” at House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as the speaker stood up to read the resolution.
“I have all night,” McCarthy said in response to the disruptions.
Censures are rare and serve as the highest form of punishment in Congress outside of an expulsion. Only two other members have been censured in the last nearly four decades, including, most recently, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) for sharing a cartoon of himself killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
The resolution against Schiff stated that while he was serving as the top Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, he “spread false accusations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.”
Schiff also “perpetuated false allegations from the Steele Dossier accusing numerous Trump associates of colluding with Russia into the Congressional Record.”
The resolution required Schiff to present himself in the well of the House floor while McCarthy read the resolution and for the Ethics Committee to conduct an investigation into Schiff’s “falsehoods, misrepresentations, and abuses of sensitive information.”
Schiff notoriously claimed while in his position of authority on Intel that “clear evidence” that Trump colluded with the Russians existed in “plain sight,” despite multiple federal investigations ultimately concluding that there was no sufficient evidence of the alleged collusion.
McCarthy removed Schiff from his position on Intel this year because of the same reasons cited in the censure resolution.
Schiff has never retracted his claims and said on the House floor prior to the vote that he would wear the censure as a “badge of honor.”
I wear this partisan vote as a badge of honor, knowing that I have lived my oath, knowing that I have done my duty to hold a dangerous and out of control president accountable, and knowing that I would do so again in a heartbeat if the circumstances should ever require it.
The resolution was led by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), who initially included a $16 million fine against Schiff, which she said would compensate for a portion of what American taxpayers ultimately paid for the Trump-Russia federal probes. Several Republicans opposed the fine though, including Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), who said it was unconstitutional, leading Luna to excise that provision.
Several Republicans celebrated the passage of the resolution in statements on social media:
Schiff, who is running for the open Senate seat in California in 2024, has been fundraising off the disciplinary action against him, sending what Insider found to be at least 20 fundraising emails, in addition to social media posts soliciting donations.