Revived effort to censure Schiff clears key hurdle ahead of final vote

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The effort to censure Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, a key figure in the House investigations into Donald Trump and who is running for a US Senate seat in California, cleared a key procedural obstacle Wednesday afternoon after a vote to kill the legislation failed.

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, a Florida Republican, is leading the effort with a revamped measure on the House floor for his role in the Russia probe and investigating Trump after a similar measure she backed failed last week.

The resolution accuses Schiff of misleading the American people while pursuing the congressional investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign as the then-chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and for actions Schiff took leading up to the former president’s first impeachment. Schiff has dismissed the allegations as “false and defamatory.”

Luna announced Tuesday she has secured the number of votes needed to censure and refer him to the House Ethics Committee.

“I have called up my censure motion and will be bringing the vote to hold Adam Schiff accountable to the floor tomorrow,” Luna tweeted Tuesday night.

The original resolution put forward by Luna failed last week after 20 Republicans voted to table the measure and two voted “present,” but after some tweaks made by Luna in consultation with GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, including axing a $16 million fine attached to the legislation, the measure has gained more support. Rep. Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican who opposed the motion last week, told CNN on Tuesday that he in favor of the new version and is assisting Luna in her whip effort.

Some House Republicans voted against last week over concern of constitutionality and fear it could spark a tit-for-tat. Several House Republicans that voted to kill the resolution last week signaled they will support the new resolution, though several GOP lawmakers admitted to CNN they are concerned that the repeated attempts are boosting his fundraising for his Senate candidacy.

Those indicating they may now support the revised plan include some from swing districts, such as Juan Ciscomani of Arizona and New York freshmen Mike Lawler and Marc Molinaro.

“I voted to table the resolution as it had provisions that were unconstitutional and did not allow for due process of law. Should a constitutional version of the resolution be brought back for a vote, I will support it,” Lawler tweeted.

Conservatives like Rep. Warren Davidson of Ohio indicated they may back the measure now.

“I look forward to censuring him next week for his lies,” Davidson said.

On Tuesday, Schiff called the move “a badge of honor” and said, “They wouldn’t be going after me if they didn’t think I was effective.”

“Now Trump is threatening to primary any Republican that doesn’t vote for it. It shows you just who is behind this whole effort to distract from Trump’s legal problems is Trump,” Schiff told CNN. “But to waste the floors time on this false and defamatory resolution is a disservice to the country.”

While serving as chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Schiff announced a sweeping investigation in February 2019 into then-President Trump’s finances and Russia.

Schiff also served as the lead House impeachment manager during Trump’s first impeachment. In that role, Schiff and the other impeachment managers detailed the House’s case for removing Trump from office at the Senate trial. The Senate ultimately voted to acquit.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy Tuesday told CNN he is confident the resolution will pass this time. “I expect it will pass, yes,” he said.

The resolution can only afford to lose four Republicans if all House members vote, since all Democrats are expected to vote against the measure.


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