House rejects efforts to censor and fine Democrat Adam Schiff for Trump-Russia investigations

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House rejected an effort to censure California Rep. Adam Schiff, voting to reject a Republican bid to amend the Democrat for his comments about former President Donald Trump and his investigations into his ties to Russia .

Schiff, the Democratic former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and lead prosecutor in Trump’s first impeachment trial, has long been a top Republican political target. Shortly after regaining a majority this year, Republicans barred him from serving on the intelligence panel.

But Schiff was aided on Wednesday by more than 20 Republicans who either voted with Democrats to stop the no-confidence resolution or voted “present,” denying Republicans needed votes.

The no-confidence resolution of Republican Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, who was elected last year, says Schiff held positions of power during Trump’s presidency and “abused that trust by saying there is there was evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.” Schiff was one of the former president’s most vocal critics as the Justice Department and the Republican-led House launched investigations into Trump’s ties to Russia in 2017.

“By repeatedly telling these lies, Representative Schiff has deliberately misled his committee, Congress, and the American people,” the resolution reads.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who led the Justice Department’s two-year investigation, determined that Russia intervened on behalf of the campaign and that Trump’s campaign welcomed the assistance. But Mueller’s team did not find the campaign conspired to influence the election, and the Justice Department did not recommend any charges.

The congressional inquiry, launched by then-majority Republicans, also concluded that Russia interfered in the election but there was no evidence of a conspiracy. Schiff was the top Democrat on the panel at the time.

Had the House voted to censure him, Schiff would have stood in front of the House as the text of the resolution was read. The resolution also reportedly sought to fine him $16 million — which Luna said was half the cost of the Mueller investigation — if it had been determined by the ethics committee that Schiff “lied, misrepresented and misused sensitive information”.

Schiff, who is running for U.S. Senate in his liberal state of California, was defiant.

“We will never back down,” he said in a letter to colleagues on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Schiff told reporters the no-confidence resolution was “red meat” that Speaker Kevin McCarthy is throwing at his conference amid wrangling over government spending. Republicans are trying to show loyalty to Trump, Schiff said.

“Their problem with me is that they think I’m efficient,” Schiff said. “They don’t pick on people they aren’t afraid of.”


Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report.

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