Thomas Massie Defends Adam Schiff From Punishment

For allegedly betraying the trust of his constituents by advancing charges that Russia had meddled in the 2016 presidential campaign to assist in electing Donald Trump, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) has presented a resolution to reprimand Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, and order him to pay a $16 million fine. Schiff was the chair of the House Intelligence Committee at the time.

Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky, has announced that he would not vote for a motion to penalize Adam Schiff for his work on the inquiry into Russian intervention in the 2016 election.

Massie has stated that he would not support the measure if it is brought up for a vote in the House because he believes it violates the Constitution.

He’s said if a motion to punish Adam Schiff $16 million gets to the floor, he will vote to table it.  Massie urged his followers on Wednesday to vote against the Luna measure, noting that he was still fighting a federal lawsuit after Pelosi imposed a salary reduction for his refusal to wear a mask.

Massie said punishing $16 million would contradict the 27th and 8th Amendments.

On Wednesday, the House will have a procedural vote to determine the next steps; Democrats are expected to vote to postpone the motion. Although Massie is the only Republican to speak out publicly, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) informed reporters that Republicans are “split” on the matter.

A vote of censure has no legal effect and cannot be used to remove a politician from office. It’s a symbolic way to show displeasure with a lawmaker’s voting record or behavior. It is uncertain how much traction Luna’s separate effort to remove Schiff from office last month would have.

A censure of Schiff might have severe consequences for his chances in the 2024 Senate election. In the race to replace outgoing Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), he has competition from Reps. Barbara Lee and Katie Porter.