Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), one of the strongest anti-Trump politicians in the entirety of the Washington D.C. swamp, might want to grab a good lawyer or two while he can because it looks like he could use the help soon.
According to Breitbart, Schiff could face a serious investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) for "allegedly violating federal law and House ethics rules by using taxpayer-funded resources for campaign purposes."
The claim of wrongdoing was brought against Schiff by a non-partisan watchdog outfit called Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT).
The ethics watchdog said in the complaint that the congressman was “clearly using official government video for campaign purposes,” violating federal law and the House ethics rules, since “House Members are prohibited from using House and Senate floor video for campaign purposes.”
The watchdog group laid out its reasoning why it believes that the California Democrat crossed lines in the realm of campaign finance law.
"Federal law states that 'appropriations shall be applied only to the objects for which the appropriations were made except as otherwise provided by law.' To enforce this law, the ethics rules prohibit Members from using any official resource for campaign or political purposes," FACT stated.
It added: "'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. 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."
The video at issue was one of Schiff speaking on the Senate floor during one of Donald Trump's impeachment hearings. Schiff later used a clip of that video for a campaign ad, which FACT says is not allowed.
"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," Schiff captioned the video.
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
FACT says the rules exist to prevent taxpayer funds from funding political campaigns.
"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 to OCE said.
The watchdog group wants an investigation launched into Schiff's usage of the video.
Only time will tell if Schiff takes any heat, but one can imagine the swiftness at which the OCE would move if it involved a Republican lawmaker.