U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff is having a rough week, and if it weren’t so delicious to watch, we might even feel a bit bad for him.
Think about it.
On Tuesday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy tossed his fellow Californian off the Intelligence Committee.
When he cried about it on TikTok, he was mercilessly mocked, which had to sting.
But not as bad as the reaction he got on Thursday when he announced with a cringy ad that he was running for Senate.
Our democracy is at great risk. Because GOP leaders care more about power than anything else.
And because our economy isn’t working for millions of hard working Americans.
We’re in the fight of our lives—a fight I’m ready to lead as California’s next U.S. Senator. pic.twitter.com/H0Pa0EhhMu
— Adam Schiff (@AdamSchiff) January 26, 2023
While Schiff may think Californians who are suffering under ridiculously high gas prices and even more ridiculous egg prices while they grapple with flooding and loss want to hear about how much he despises former President Donald Trump, social media had other brutal thoughts.
— masonbo (@masonbo) January 26, 2023
And now his “Orange Man Bad” obsession has gotten Adam Schiff in hot water with an ethics watchdog group.
Just one day after Schiff slammed Republicans for caring “more about power than anything else,” the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) fired off a complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) asking for an investigation into his use of footage from the Senate floor in his ad — a potential abuse of “official resources for political purposes.”
“The law is clear and the image above speaks for itself—there are no facts that can excuse this violation,” the complaint, signed by FACT Executive Director Kendra Arnold, states.
“This is a clear violation of House ethics rules and federal law,” Arnold said, according to Fox News Digital. “Rep. Schiff has been in Congress for over two decades and undoubtedly knows that official government resources cannot be used for political purposes.”
“Rep. Schiff must immediately take down the video and cease distribution of the footage, and the Office of Congressional Ethics should move swiftly to investigate and sanction Rep. Schiff for this breach,” she demanded.
Naturally, Schiff’s campaign did mental backflips to dismiss the violation.
He didn’t violate any ethics rules, you see, because, although he is a member of the House — and using him speaking from that floor would totally be a no-no — he was speaking from the Senate when he was ranting about Trump, so that’s totally okay.
“House ethics rules prohibit the use of House floor or committee footage for campaign purposes — the rules do not apply to footage from the Senate, which is what was used in Congressman Schiff’s video,” a campaign spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “No footage from any House proceeding was used in the video, and Congressman Schiff was fully in compliance with House ethics guidelines.”
Like much of what comes from Schiff, that doesn’t appear to be true.
“Federal law states that ‘appropriations shall be applied only to the objects for which the appropriations were made except as otherwise provided by law,'” FACT’s complaint states. “To enforce this law, the ethics rules prohibit Members from using any official resource for campaign or political purposes.”
“‘Official resources’ includes anything funded by taxpayers, such as a Member’s official website, social media accounts, and photographs and video from the House or Senate floor,” the organization explains. “To make it abundantly clear, both the House ethics rules and Senate rules specifically identify Congressional video of floor proceedings as official resources that Members are prohibited from using for political purposes.”
On Twitter, journalist Niels Lesniewski suggested Schiff might be in the clear because the video he used came from NBC.
“Could be ok,” he tweeted. “He’s not a senator, and it looks like they used NBC TV footage of the floor, which is a common workaround.”
But FACT hit back.
“Respectfully, there is no ‘workaround,'” they replied. “In 2017, the Ethics Committee in In Re: Lujan reiterated the rule and stated, ‘Members may not re-use an image of a floor proceeding published by a third-party, if the Member could not use that image in the first instance.'”
Respectfully, there is no "workaround."
In 2017, the Ethics Committee in In Re: Lujan reiterated the rule and stated, "Members may not re-use an image of a floor proceeding published by a third-party, if the Member could not use that image in the first instance."
— FACT DC (@factdc) January 26, 2023
And, indeed, the organization is correct.
In Rep. Lugen’s final report, the Ethics Committee also stated, “the Committee’s guidance has made clear that such a derivative use is not permissible.”
“This is an important rule because it not only protects taxpayer-funded resources from abuse, but it also protects the integrity of official proceedings by reducing the incentive for members to make political speeches during official proceedings,” FACT’s complaint reads. “One issue the House Ethics Manual acknowledges is the public perception that incumbents are simply using their office to run for re-election or to run for a higher office, and the reason for that perception is quite evident in Rep. Schiff’s actions. Moreover, his use of official resources does not reflect credibly on the House.”
Well, at least no one is calling him “Pencil Neck” anymore.
Matt Gaetz introduces PENCIL Act bill restricting Adam Schiff’s access to classified docs https://t.co/DIBe5yiFBh pic.twitter.com/TPgs4axf6h
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 28, 2023
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