House Democrats reject resolution to censure Schiff over his handling of impeachment inquiry – USA TODAY



CLOSE


House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff says that “things have just gone from very, very bad to much, much worse” with the White House’s acknowledgment that it held up military aid to Ukraine. (Oct. 17) AP, AP

WASHINGTON – House Republicans tried to force a floor vote Monday on a resolution to censure House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff over his handling of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. But Democrats tabled it, essentially killing the resolution.

In a 218-185 vote, the resolution was tabled along party lines.

The resolution said they dissaprove of Schiff’s “conduct that misleads the American people in a way that is not befitting an elected Member of the House of Representatives.”

The GOP has bemoaned Schiff’s handling of the impeachment inquiry into Trump.

They have accused him of portraying a “false retelling” of the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky after Schiff paraphrased the call rather than quoting the summary during opening remarks at a recent House Intelligence Committee hearing.

Schiff defended his remarks, insisting they were intended as “parody,” and that critics should have recognized that.  

The GOP has also taken issue with Schiff saying his committee did not have any contact with the whistleblower at the center of the inquiry prior to the submission of the complaint when it later emerged that the whistleblower had contacted a House Intelligence Committee aide.

Three House committees – Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight and Reform – have been meeting privately for weeks with current and former administration officials to gather information about how Trump urged Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, a political rival. Republicans have argued that the meetings should be public and transcripts should be released. 

Schiff has said the transcripts of the closed-door depositions will eventually be public.

More: ‘Crazy’ and a ‘hand grenade’: Here’s how House impeachment witnesses describe elements of Trump’s Ukraine policy

Schiff tweeted shortly after the vote that when Republicans “lacked the courage to confront the most dangerous and unethical president in American history, They consoled themselves by attacking those who did.”

The resolution Republicans introduced was privileged, meaning they were able to fast track the measure to a full chamber vote instead of going through committees. Democrats, who hold a majority in the chamber, had been expected to vote to table it on party lines.

The resolution stated that “members of the Intelligence Committee have lost faith in his objectivity and capabilities as Chairman.”

The measure was introduced last week by Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs, who chairs the conservative House Freedom Caucus. The vote to consider the resolution was delayed following the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings, out of respect.

Biggs said in a statement that Schiff’s “calculated words and actions over the past two years have brought this body into disrepute, and he must be held accountable.”

Trump tweeted his support for the resolution Monday prior to the vote, “Censure (at least) Corrupt Adam Schiff! After what he got caught doing, any pol who does not so vote cannot be honest….are you listening Dems?”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement following the vote that “What the Republicans fear most is the truth. The President betrayed the oath of office, our national security and the integrity of our elections, and the GOP has not even tried to deny the facts. Instead, Republicans stage confusion, undermine the Constitution and attack the person of whom the President is most afraid.”

“The American people want the truth. The House will proceed with our impeachment inquiry to find the facts and expose the truth, guided by our Constitution and the facts.  This is about patriotism, not politics or partisanship,” she continued. 

Independent congressman Justin Amash, who recently left the Republican party and supports impeaching the President, voted with Democrats. 

A censure vote is designed to allow Congress to publicly condemn a member’s behavior. 

Contributing: Christal Hayes, Bart Jansen, Nicholas Wu, Deirdre Shesgreen

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/21/house-democrats-reject-resolution-censure-schiff-over-inquiry-handling/4058638002/

Leave a Reply

Close Menu