WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives approved a Republican effort on Wednesday to censure Representative Adam Schiff, a rare move intended to punish the Democrat for his leading role in investigating the conduct of Donald Trump when he was president.
The measure’s sponsor, far-right Republican Representative Anna Paulina Luna, argued that a congressional investigation that Schiff led into potential ties between Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Russian government was politically motivated and that the representative had falsely led Americans into believing there was collusion between the two entities.
In practice, the measure, which was passed 213-209 along party lines, will result in a probe into Schiff by the Ethics Committee. Shortly after the vote, Democrats, who fiercely and unanimously defended their colleague, shouted “Shame!” at House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who presided over the proceedings.
Schiff has been a frequent Republican target since 2019, when he headed the investigation that led to Trump’s impeachment over his alleged effort to pressure Ukraine to help him win re-election. Trump remained in office because the Senate declined to convict him.
Trump was impeached a second time by the House over his actions leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol. Again, the Senate voted against conviction.
The House had defeated a separate censure effort against Schiff last week, when 20 Republicans joined 205 Democrats in opposition. The earlier censure effort came with a $16 million fine, since stripped out. It was unclear how that fine would have been enforced and even Republicans had doubts about its constitutionality.
Censures in the House are historically rare.
Republican Representative Paul Gosar was censured in 2021 after he posted a cartoon video that showed him killing Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the first time the censure had been used in a decade.
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