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Schiff Hit With Ethics Complaint As He Faces Censure Vote In House This Week

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff is facing a big test this week as the House will vote on a resolution from Florida GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna to censure Schiff over his claims about former President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.

“Luna pushing her Schiff censure appears to have opened the floodgates for right-wing lawmakers to pursue similar efforts, with or without buy-in from GOP leadership,” Axios reported. “That was demonstrated last week, when 20 Republicans helped to kill an iteration of the Schiff censure last week that included a $16 million fine.”

A few days ago, the conservative Center for Renewing America filed a complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics requesting an investigation into Schiff over his repeated and false claims for years that he had evidence Trump was essentially a stooge for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The request comes after Schiff, who previously led the House Intelligence Committee, pushed unproven allegations of Trump-Russia collusion for years and touted British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s discredited dossier,” the Washington Examiner reported.

“Those claims came under renewed scrutiny earlier this year after the release of the Durham report, which concluded the FBI had no proper basis for launching the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into Trump and Russia in 2016,” the outlet added.

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In its complaint, the Center for Renewing American requested that the ethics office “impose appropriate disciplinary and remedial action—up to and including expulsion” of Schiff.

The letter to the ethics office noted:

On May 15, 2023, Special Counsel John Durham released a 300-page report on matters arising from the 2016 election (“Durham Report”). The Durham Report detailed how the Clinton campaign concocted false allegations regarding supposed “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia. These baseless claims were funneled to credulous media outlets, the intelligence community, and the Federal Bureau Investigation (“FBI”)—which opened an investigation despite possessing NO evidence of collusion. According to CNN, “Special Counsel John Durham conclude[d] [that the] FBI never should have launched [the] full Trump-Russia probe.”

The Clinton campaign’s fabricated collusion narrative has had no greater champion than Schiff, whose dedication to perpetuating the Russia Hoax without regard for the truth repeatedly violated the requirement, in clause 1 of House Rule XXIII, that “[a] Member . . . of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.”

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A number of Republicans opposed the motion due to their concerns regarding Luna’s proposed $16 million fine against Schiff, arguing that such an action would be unconstitutional. Despite the opposition, Luna expressed her determination to pursue the issue and announced her intention to introduce another motion of censure without the inclusion of a fine.

“20 Republicans voted w/ Dems to stop the ethics investigation, censure, & fine of Adam Schiff,” Luna noted in a tweet. “So there is no confusion (as some did not accurately read the bill) I will be filing a privileged motion to censure & send Schiff to ethics for investigation.”

A vote to censure Schiff does not really come with any consequences for him such as removal from office.

But it could harm his efforts to win a U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Dianne Feinstein at the end of her current term next year.

Earlier this year, former CIA Director Mike Pompeo accused Schiff of leaking highly classified information.

“During my time as CIA director and secretary of state, I know that he leaked classified information that had been provided to him,” Pompeo, who is rumored to be considering a run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said.

“It’s a complicated process, right? It’s difficult to pin down precisely what happened,” Pompeo said. “But I could tell you that when we provided information to him and to his staff, it ended up in places it shouldn’t have been with alarming regularity. We could see it. In the end, I decided I held back information from them as a result.”

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