House Republicans are ramping up their efforts to formally rebuke House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOvernight Hillicon Valley — Hacking goes global Schiff calls on Amazon, Facebook to address spread of vaccine misinformation Spotlight turns to GOP's McCarthy in Jan. 6 probe MORE (D-Calif.) as they look to combat the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, revised his censure resolution to include language blasting the California Democrat for his comments on the committee’s interactions with a whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry, alleging Schiff purposely misled the public.
“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 updated version of 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 initial version of the resolution has garnered 140 GOP co-sponsors in the lower chamber. It called for Schiff’s resignation over his “parody” remarks about a July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Democrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles MORE and his son during a hearing in September.
Schiff has defended his comments, arguing the exaggerated comments were made partially in jest. Top Democrats have also defended his handling of the impeachment inquiry.
Biggs is expected to join House Republican leadership — including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyOvernight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens Top Democrats tout California recall with an eye toward 2022 Former national security officials warn antitrust bills could help China in tech race MORE (R-Calif.), Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseOSHA faces big challenge with Biden vaccine mandate Overnight Health Care — Nicki Minaj stokes uproar over vaccines Republicans ask FDA for details on any White House pressure on boosters MORE (R-La.) and Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyThird Republican drops out of race to replace Cheney after Trump endorses challenger Overnight Energy & Environment — Effort to repeal Arctic refuge drilling advances McCarthy-allied fundraising group helps Republicans who voted to impeach Trump MORE (R-Wyo.), all of whom have signed on to the measure — at a press conference on Wednesday morning.
His resolution is expected to be called up as privileged later this week.
The censure vote, which is intended to allow Congress to publicly show its disapproval of a member's behavior, faces an uphill battle in the Democratic-controlled House.
Updated at 7:44 a.m.