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Rep. Biggs of Arizona fails to force vote on motion to censure Rep. Schiff

PHOENIX – U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., failed Monday to push through a vote to censure Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., over his handling of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

Last month, Biggs introduced the measure to censure Schiff over comments he made during a hearing he oversaw in his role as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Biggs, who represents the East Valley, recruited 184 cosponsors for the motion, which was postponed Monday by a 218-185 vote across party lines.

“Instead of operating with integrity, Adam Schiff misled the American people about the content of the transcript being used to drive the most recent impeachment narrative against President Donald Trump,” Biggs said in a statement after the vote.

“Mr. Schiff may not have been held accountable tonight, but the American people are very much aware of his reckless disregard for the truth. They will not tolerate his calculated words and actions as he continues his secret, unauthorized impeachment inquiry to undermine the will of the American people.”

Democrats say Schiff has acted in a fair and bipartisan manner.

Schiff responded to Monday’s vote with a tweet accusing Republicans of failing to confront “the most dangerous and unethical president in American history” and instead “attacking those who did.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Schiff a great patriot.

“What the Republicans fear most is the truth,” she said in a statement. “The president betrayed the oath of office, our national security and the integrity of our elections, and the GOP has not even tried to deny the facts. Instead, Republicans stage confusion, undermine the Constitution and attack the person of whom the president is most afraid.”

At the center of the censure attempt was comments Schiff made during a Sept. 26 hearing with Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire regarding the whistleblower report about Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

During the hearing, Schiff summarized the phone call in a way Biggs has called “blatantly false.”

“We’ve been very good to your country. Very good. No other country has done as much as we have. But you know what, I don’t see much reciprocity here,” Schiff said, mimicking Trump.

He continued speaking as Trump, asking the Ukrainian president to “make up dirt on my political opponent.”

“You know what I’m asking, so I’m only going to say this a few more times in a few more ways. And by the way, don’t call me again; I’ll call you when you’ve done what I asked,” Schiff said.

Later in the hearing, after getting criticized by other committee members, Schiff described his comments as parody not meant to be taken as an exact version of the phone call.

“The fact that that’s not clear is a separate problem in and of itself,” he said.

“Of course, the president never said, ‘If you don’t understand me, I’m going to say it seven more times.’ My point is that’s the message that the Ukraine president was receiving, in not so many words.”

The basis of the House impeachment inquiry has been whether Trump abused the power of his office by asking Ukraine’s president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter over allegations of corruption.

A summary of the phone and the whistleblower complaint related to it have been made public.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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