Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has experienced a rough start to the 118th Congress. He has been stripped of his assignment to the House Intelligence Committee and then got a mocking response to his weird TikTok video announcing his candidacy for a Senate seat in 2024. Now, he is facing an ethics complaint regarding that announcement.
An ethics watchdog group has asked the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) to investigate Schiff for using video from the Senate floor in a video announcing his upcoming Senate campaign. The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) sent a complaint to the OCE’s chief counsel asking the office to investigate whether Schiff “abused official resources for political purposes.”
Schiff announced his candidacy for the Senate in 2024 through the video he also shared on his Twitter account. The video included footage of Schiff speaking on the Senate floor during the impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump.
FACT executive director Kendra Arnold said: “This is a clear violation of House ethics rules and federal law. Rep. Schiff must immediately take down the video and cease distribution of the footage. The Office of Congressional Ethics should move swiftly to investigate and sanction Rep. Schiff for this breach.”
The Schiff campaign defiantly countered that the Congressman did not violate any ethics rules as the video was of him speaking in the Senate, not from the House floor.
A spokesperson for the campaign said, “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.”
FACT argues that House ethics rules and a 2017 report from the Ethics Committee bar members from using either House or Senate video or photographs, including footage or photos of floor proceedings, even if reposted from a third-party source such as a news organization.
The complaint states that the rule is broad and prohibits members from using video obtained from news outlets. It alleges the rule must be strictly observed because it “protects the integrity of official proceedings by reducing the incentive for members to make political speeches during official proceedings.”
FACT requests an OCE investigation into Schiff’s use of Senate floor footage in his campaign video and for the video to be taken down immediately.