Did Trump just get a major win?
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy expressed his support on Friday for the notion of expunging the two impeachments of Donald Trump, as some hard-right Republican allies of the former president introduced proposals to nullify the historical charges.
McCarthy, a Republican from California, stated to reporters that he agrees with Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Elise Stefanik in their desire to erase the impeachment charges against Trump from both 2019 and 2021.
“I think it is appropriate,” McCarthy stated. “Just as I thought before—that you should expunge it because it never should have gone through.”
When pressed further on his stance, McCarthy confirmed his agreement with expunging both of Trump’s impeachments: the 2019 abuse of power charges related to pressuring Ukraine’s president to investigate Joe Biden and the 2021 charge of inciting the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot when Trump supporters sought to overturn Biden’s election victory.
In both cases, Trump was acquitted by the Senate following impeachment by the House. However, expunging these charges from his record would serve as further vindication for him as he pursues another term in the White House.
This effort represents the latest attempt by Trump’s allies to reshape the narrative surrounding the former president’s time in office, highlighting the pressure McCarthy faces from the right-wing faction of his party.
Just this week, McCarthy successfully fended off a proposal by Representative Lauren Boebert, a Republican from Colorado, to impeach President Biden, opting instead to send it to committees for review.
While explaining his position, McCarthy asserted that the first Trump impeachment in 2019 should never have taken place, erroneously conflating it with a separate Justice Department investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Regarding the swift 2021 trial conducted in the week following the Capitol riot, McCarthy argued, “The second impeachment had no due process.”
The speaker did not indicate any immediate plans to bring forth the proposals from Greene, a Republican from Georgia, and Stefanik, the fourth-ranking GOP leader, for House votes. When asked about the priority of these proposals, McCarthy redirected the focus to other goals of the Republican Party.
When questioned about his conversations with Trump regarding expunging the impeachment record, McCarthy revealed that they had not occurred.
Trump, currently campaigning for a return to the White House, became the first U.S. president in history to be impeached twice by the House, although he was acquitted by the Senate on all charges.
Democrats have defended their decision to swiftly impeach Trump for a second time following the mob attack on the Capitol in 2021. They argue that the evidence unfolded for the world to see as the defeated president rallied his supporters in Washington, encouraging them to march to the Capitol during Congress’s certification of Biden’s election victory.
Trump’s initial impeachment took place in 2019 when it was revealed that he had urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to uncover political dirt on his then-opponent Biden ahead of the 2020 presidential campaign, while simultaneously withholding U.S. military aid to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.