In a rare move, the House passed a censure resolution along party lines on Wednesday night against Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. — punishing one of the chamber’s own members and inflaming rhetoric on both sides of the aisle.
The vote was 213-209, with Republicans voting yes, Democrats voting no and six GOP lawmakers voting present.
The move came hours after Schiff masterfully got special counsel John Durham to admit that Russia helped Trump during the 2016 presidential election.
When Republicans summoned Special Counsel John Durham before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, they anticipated an opportunity to gain an advantage over Democrats, especially Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who had spent years emphasizing Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.
Contrary to their expectations, a remarkable moment went viral as Schiff effectively confronted Durham, the individual entrusted with determining the appropriateness of the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s involvement with the 2016 Trump campaign.
Schiff, previously an impeachment manager in the case against Trump, inquired about President Trump’s exploitation of information released by Russian hackers during the 2016 election, as special counsel Robert Mueller found. Although Durham repeatedly denied having any knowledge of the matter, he explicitly affirmed his lack of doubt regarding the credibility of evidence indicating Russia’s efforts to assist Trump—a fact fervently disputed by numerous Republicans.
“I don’t think there’s any question that Russians intruded into—hacked into the systems, they released information,” Durham said.
“And that was helpful to the Trump campaign, right?” Schiff asked.
After trying to deflect the question, Durham agreed the Russians had been helpful to the Trump campaign.
“And Trump made use of that, as I said, didn’t he, by touting those stolen documents on the campaign trail over a hundred times,” Schiff said.
Hours later, Schiff was censured for his comments on the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, which interfered in the 2016 election to aid Trump.
The censure resolution rebukes Schiff for what it calls his “misleading the American public and for conduct unbecoming of an elected Member of the House of Representatives.”
Schiff previously called the criticism “nonsense.”
In addition, the resolution called for the House Ethics Committee to initiate an investigation into Schiff’s actions.
Following the vote on Wednesday, audible chants echoed throughout the chamber as Schiff made his way towards the center, where he stood while Speaker Kevin McCarthy vocalized the adopted resolution.
The heckling included vocalized disapproval, with shouts of “shame! shame!” prompting McCarthy to pause repeatedly, waiting for the commotion to subside. At one juncture, he even remarked that he was prepared to remain there all night.
As the speaker proceeded to read the censure resolution on the House floor, the sound of his gavel was barely audible amidst the Democrats’ outcry, denouncing the motion as a “disgrace” and more.
As the vote was called, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., said, “It’s pathetic you’re doing this. Pathetic.”
“The House is in disorder,” Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), shouted.
Schiff was surrounded by fellow Democrats in the chamber, many of whom high-fived and embraced him as he walked towards the well. Multiple Democrats said “what about Santos?” — referring to the New York Republican Rep. George Santos who is under criminal and ethics investigation and denies wrongdoing.
From the Republican side, one member yelled out “jacka—-,” referring to his Democratic colleagues.
Wow Looks like McCarthy has lost control of the House Floor after the censure vote pic.twitter.com/xQzqbvEMNc
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 21, 2023
The House has censured only two other members in the 21st century: former Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ).