House advances Schiff censure resolution after dropping $16 million fine

Washington — A revived GOP-led effort to censure Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff for his role in congressional investigations of former President Donald Trump moved ahead on Wednesday, one week after a similar measure failed.

Last week, 20 Republicans joined Democrats in voting to table the earlier resolution, blocking that effort to publicly reprimand him. Republican Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, an ardent Trump supporter, then tweaked the measure to remove a potential $16 million fine for Schiff that several Republicans considered unconstitutional.Democrats tried to table the new resolution on Wednesday, but enough Republicans changed their votes to allow it to advance. The motion to table failed by a vote of 208 to 218. It needed a simple majority to pass.

Luna introduced the resolution as privileged, fast-tracking its consideration under House rules. The chamber immediately began debating the matter after the vote on the motion to table, teeing up a vote on final passage as early as Wednesday evening.

Censure is essentially a formal public reprimand by the House to punish misconduct that falls short of warranting expulsion. The censured member typically must stand on the House floor as the resolution detailing his or her offenses is read aloud.

Twenty-four House lawmakers have been censured in U.S. history, most recently in 2021, when GOP Rep. Paul Gosar was censured for tweeting a video depicting violence against President Biden and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The revised resolution calls for the House Ethics Committee to investigate Schiff, the former chair of the House Intelligence Committee and current candidate for Senate in California, for his alleged “falsehoods, misrepresentations and abuses of sensitive information.”

It claims Schiff “abused” the public’s trust “by alleging he had evidence of collusion” between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia and also accuses him of acting “dishonestly and dishonorably.”

Last week, Schiff said the effort to censure him was retaliation for his prominent role in Trump’s first impeachment and meant to distract from the federal indictment alleging Trump hid classified documents and obstructed the government’s efforts to retrieve them. Schiff has been highly critical of Trump and served as the House’s lead prosecutor in his first impeachment trial.

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