Schiff faces ethics complaint over 2016 Russia collusion claims after censure vote fails

Trump Indictment Bragg
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during a House Judiciary Committee Field Hearing, Monday, April 17, 2023, in New York. Republicans upset with former President Donald Trump’s indictment are escalating their war on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg who charged him, trying to embarrass him on his home turf. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) John Minchillo/AP

Schiff faces ethics complaint over 2016 Russia collusion claims after censure vote fails

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) survived a Republican-led motion to censure earlier this week, but the California Democrat is not in the clear just yet.

The conservative Center for Renewing America filed a complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics on Thursday, requesting lawmakers to investigate Schiff over his claims of Russian collusion with former President Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. The request comes just one day after the House voted to table a proposal seeking to censure Schiff, effectively killing the motion.

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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. 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 report concluded the investigation was inherently flawed, as there was no proper basis to conduct it in the first place, and it also found that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign played an outsize role in pushing collusion claims to the media and to the FBI.

As part of its complaint, the CRA is pressing the House Ethics Committee to open an investigation into Schiff as well as impose “appropriate disciplinary action,” such as a motion to expel him from Congress.

The request builds on efforts from Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) to remove Schiff from office as well as her motion to censure the California Democrat on Thursday. However, the motion ultimately failed after 20 Republicans joined Democrats to table the measure.

Several Republicans voted against the motion after citing concerns with Luna’s effort to fine Schiff $16 million, noting such a move would be unconstitutional. Luna indicated she would not drop the matter, announcing after the vote she would introduce another motion to censure that did not include a fine.

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“20 Republicans voted w/ Dems to stop the ethics investigation, censure, & fine of Adam Schiff,” Luna said 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 censure vote does not remove a lawmaker from office, nor does it impose any real punishment. Rather, the move is a symbolic vote to express dissatisfaction toward a lawmaker over their voting record or personal conduct. However, the move could come back to haunt Schiff as he runs to replace the retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in the Senate.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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