After House Republicans predictably failed today in their effort to censure Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) for delivering during a September hearing a parodical and exaggerated version of Donald Trump’s incriminating phone call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Congressman Schiff hit back at the quixotic minority party behind the windmill-tilting resolution with a withering tweet.
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.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) October 21, 2019
With House Democrats in no mood to play political games with the humorless Republicans over the obviously satirical paraphrasing that Rep. Schiff employed as he sarcastically reduced the transcript of Trump’s phone call to the mob speak it most resembled, the GOP censure resolution was never even allowed to be debated and come to a vote with the Democratic majority voting to table the motion in a 218-185 party-line vote.
The censure resolution was introduced by Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) who called for Schiff’s resignation and claimed that the Intelligence Committee Chairman’s remarks were an “egregiously false and fabricated retelling” and “had no relationship to the call itself” — an accusation that is usually levied whenever the president or his minions start chanting “no quid pro quo” repetitively.
Congressman Biggs’ resolution also charged that Schiff had “misled the American people,” brought disrepute to the House of Representatives, and made “a mockery of the impeachment process, one of this chamber’s most solemn constitutional duties.”
Ironically, it is the Trump administration’s refusal to honor legitimate congressional subpoenas as part of the impeachment inquiry that is what most Americans see as attempting to make a mockery of the impeachment process and will likely lead to the addition of obstruction of justice charges to the eventual likely articles of impeachment that will be drafted once the inquiries are completed.
With the resolution co-sponsored by a rogue’s gallery of Trump apologists including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-WY), the attack on Schiff was seen as another tactic to distract the American public from the severity of the president’s criminal actions.
While the GOP presidential defenders claim that the members of the House Intelligence Committee “have lost faith” in Rep. Schiff’s ability to act as an objective chairman and that his comments have obstructed the committee’s ability to carry out its oversight mission, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended her fellow California legislator with a strong statement of support.
“Chairman Schiff is a great American patriot. Our country is extremely well-served by his serious, smart and strategic leadership to protect our elections, national security and democracy — which sadly stands in stark contrast to Republicans in the Congress who cover up the truth, look the other way when the President invites foreign governments to interfere in our elections and vote against legislation to secure the ballot from foreign attacks,” Speaker Pelosi said in her statement.
If anyone is tempted to offer a modicum of pity towards the outnumbered Republicans fighting to defend the indefensible actions of Donald Trump, simply cast your mind back to the days of the Republican majority in the House and the endless investigations into Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s email server and ask yourself: “Where is the censure resolution targeting those who wasted millions of taxpayer dollars on those fruitless fishing expeditions that had none of the plain sight evidence that Trump has provided the Democrats now in charge of the chamber?”
The Republicans behind the censure resolution aimed at Chairman Schiff will get their 5 minutes of adulation on Fox News for their “bravery” in standing up to the Democratic steamroller that is Schiff’s impeachment investigation and will live in ignominy once the president is removed from office for his well-documented crimes. In the meantime, they will be tarred with Congressman Schiff’s apt indictment of their cowardice.
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Original reporting by Juliegrace Brufke at The Hill.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.