WASHINGTON – Rep. Andy Biggs will attempt to force a vote on his resolution to censure House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff on the House floor this week, having initiated the process Wednesday.
Biggs’ censure effort has the backing of House Republican leaders – an uncommon alliance between the party’s establishment and the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.
The censure resolution includes allegations that Schiff purposely misled the public in his comments on the Intelligence Committee’s interactions with a whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry.
“Whereas these actions of Chairman Schiff misled the American people, bring disrepute upon the House of Representatives, and make a mockery of the impeachment process, one of this chamber’s most solemn constitutional duties,” reads the resolution.
Biggs brought up his proposal Wednesday as a privileged resolution, a procedural move that gives the measure precedence over the regular order of business and allows a resolution to leapfrog or interrupt other pending matters before the chamber.
The House has 2 legislative days to decide when the chamber would debate and vote on Biggs’ privileged censure resolution. Democrats are expected to offer a motion to table the resolution.
The proposal alleges what Republicans say is a pattern of misleading and concealed information on the impeachment inquiry from the public and other members of Congress.
“Whereas, according to a New York Times article on October 2, 2019, Chairman Schiff’s committee staff met with the whistleblower prior to the filing of his complaint, and staff members communicated the content of the complaint to Chairman Schiff,” the resolution reads.
“Whereas Chairman Schiff concealed his dealings with the whistleblower from the rest of the Intelligence Committee, and when asked directly in a television interview whether he had any contact with the whistleblower, he lied to the American people and said, ‘We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower.’”
The resolution also takes aim at Schiff’s characterization of a phone call between President Donald Trump and the Ukrainian president during a recent Intelligence Committee hearing.
A censure is a formal, majority vote in the House on a resolution disapproving of a member’s conduct, generally with the additional requirement that the member stand in the well of the chamber and receive a verbal rebuke and reading of the resolution by the speaker.
A total of 23 members have been censured in the House for misconduct.