Congressman Adam Schiff (D, CA) was censured by the House of Representatives last Wednesday. The question now is, What’s next? Mechanically, what’s next is referring Schiff to the House Ethics Committee
for investigation over his “falsehoods, misrepresentations, and abuse of sensitive information[.]”
The question, though, carries a related one on its back: So what? Censure and standing in the well of the House while the rebuke is read out to him by the Speaker are supposed to be shaming and an embarrassment for the Congressman being censured. But what happens if the censuree feels no shame, if his fellows celebrate his censure?
That puts a premium on actual and firm sanctions commensurate with the severity of the behavior that led to the Censure. That puts a premium on the Ethics Committee to take Schiff’s misbehaviors seriously.
I’m not sanguine that the Ethics Committee will do anything meaningful, especially after six members of the House Republican Caucus voted “Present,” not believing Schiff’s misbehavior important enough for an affirmative vote for Censure. I’m not surprised, though, at the uniform “No” vote from Schiff’s Party colleagues. Such misbehaviors are core inventory for the Progressive-Democratic Party.