Rep. Goldman Schools GOP on ‘Evidence’ in Failed Attempt to Censure Schiff

An ill-conceived GOP plot aimed at censuring Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) for allegedly making false statements about former President Donald Trump’s Russian connections in 2016 was summarily quashed this week. Notably, 20 of their own Republican comrades sided with the Democrats, leading to the measure’s defeat.

Freshman Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), one of the main orchestrators of this failed coup, showed an astonishing lack of political tact in her response. Despite the defeat, Luna announced plans to try again, stating, “Next week, we will be filing a motion to censure and investigate Schiff.” She chalked up their failure to the fine attached to the censure, claiming it made her Republican colleagues “uneasy.”

Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY), however, was having none of it. Swift to debunk Luna’s claim, Goldman — an attorney who previously worked on Trump’s second impeachment — pointed out that there was no verifiable evidence that Schiff had lied about the Russia affair. He gave Luna some friendly advice in a tweet, highlighting the need for her to read the Mueller and OIG reports and understand what ‘evidence’ actually means. Finally, he bluntly told her to “Stop lying.”

Schiff, the former chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has frequently been the target of Republican antics since they took a narrow majority last year. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) removed him from the committee, ostensibly for lying about whether he knew the identity of the whistleblower behind Trump’s first impeachment. However, no hard evidence has surfaced to support this claim.

Among the 20 Republicans who bravely broke ranks and voted against the censure and fine were figures from all sides of the GOP, including both swing-district incumbents like Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ), and staunch far-right Freedom Caucus figures like Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY). Massie pointed out the unconstitutionality of the proposed fine, stating, “A $16 million fine is a violation of the 27th and 8th amendments.”

This episode shines a light on the lengths to which the GOP is willing to go to demonize their opponents. But as we’ve seen here, the truth isn’t so easily distorted, and an understanding of what ‘evidence’ truly means can help cut through the fog of political maneuvering.