The former head of the House Intelligence Committee by his colleagues Wednesday for peddling accusations about the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 election cycle.
Twenty Republicans joined 205 Democrats in supporting a bid by Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) to kill the motion to censure Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). Seven other lawmakers — five Democrats and two Republicans — voted present, while 196 GOPers voted to punish Schiff.
The censure resolution, which would have also fined Schiff $16 million, was proposed by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.), who dubbed the 62-year-old Democrat a “criminal” earlier this month.
Schiff claimed Luna’s motion was retaliation for him leading the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump in 2019.
“Our GOP colleagues are using the leverage and resources of the House majority to rewrite history and promulgate far-right conspiracy theories — all to protect and serve Donald Trump,” he wrote in a letter to his colleagues Wednesday. “This resolution plainly demonstrates the lengths our GOP colleagues will go to protect Donald Trump’s infinite lies — lies that incited a violent attack on this very building.”
In an interview with Fox News earlier this month, Luna charged that Schiff had used his position as chairman of the intelligence panel “to lie to the American people and ultimately push something that not only destroyed our country, ripped us apart, but also too was responsible for almost, I believe, maybe even potentially permanently damaging foreign relations.”
“He’s a criminal,” Luna added. “What he did was wrong. And, Adam Schiff, you will be held accountable.”
Schiff, , became the poster child in the House for tying Trump to the Kremlin, having notoriously claimed that he had found “more than circumstantial evidence” to back the allegations.
In 2017, Schiff dramatically read parts of the now-discredited Steele dossier into the Congressional Record and contended as late as 2019 that there was “ample evidence of collusion in plain sight.”
Luna arrived at her proposed $16 million fine by citing estimates that the legal cost of examining the Russian collusion claims worked out to more than $32 million, with Schiff being responsible for half that amount.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) one of the 20 Republicans who voted to kill the resolution, explained his reasoning on Twitter Wednesday.
“The Constitution says the House may make its own rules but we can’t violate other (later) provisions of the Constitution,” he wrote. “A $16 million fine is a violation of the 27th and 8th amendments.”
In a follow-up tweet responding to backlash, Massie added: “Allowing a majority of Congress to take $16 million (92 years of pay) from any member of Congress is shortsighted. Can we not imagine a time when this precedent would be used against conservatives?
“Fortunately it failed,” he went on. “I’m told a Constitutional version will be offered now.”
The proposed censure came in the wake of on the FBI’s Russia investigation, dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane.”
The report found that “neither U.S. law enforcement nor the intelligence community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.”
Schiff has served in the House since 2001. He is being vacated by incumbent Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).