House Democrats Halt GOP Bid to Censure Schiff

WASHINGTON (CN) – House Democrats on Monday spiked a Republican effort – urged on by President Donald Trump – to condemn House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff over criticisms of how the California Democrat has handled the impeachment inquiry.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks before Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The House voted 218-185 to table the resolution Monday evening. Republicans had planned to offer the resolution last week but asked that the vote be delayed following the death of Representative Elijah Cummings.

Schiff appeared to respond to the attempted censure in a tweet shortly after Democrats succeeded in killing the Republican resolution.

“It will be said of House Republicans, when they found they lacked the courage to confront the most dangerous and unethical president in American history, they consoled themselves by attacking those who did,” Schiff tweeted.

The resolution ticked off a list of grievances against Schiff, including his portrayal of a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at a congressional hearing at the end of September.  While Schiff attempted to summarize the call – in which Trump asked Zelensky to investigate Vice President Joe Biden and his son – he veered between summary and parody of what Trump said on the call, which kicked off the impeachment inquiry.

The retelling, which Schiff said was “at least part in parody,” has drawn Trump’s ire and the president urged Republicans to censure Schiff in a tweet on Monday.

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

The resolution also sought to condemn Schiff for not revealing that his staff was in contact with the whistleblower who filed a complaint that revealed the Trump-Zelensky phone call before the complaint was submitted, and for saying in a television appearance that the committee had “not spoken directly to the whistleblower.” The New York Times reported earlier this month that Schiff knew “the outlines” of what was in the complaint before it was submitted on Aug. 12.

Schiff has maintained, despite Republican charges to the contrary, that he does not know who the whistleblower is and has never met the whistleblower. The California Democrat has also said he should have been “much more clear” in his appearance on MSNBC about the committee’s discussions with the whistleblower.

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