McCarthy: I'm Open to Trump Expungements

New speaker says it's not a priority, but he'd consider clearing impeachment record
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2023 4:10 PM CST
House May Look at Expunging Impeachments
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy speaks during a news conference in Statuary Hall at the Capitol in Washington on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who once said Donald Trump "bears responsibility" for the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, said Thursday he'd consider pursuing expungement of impeachment from the former president's record. Republican House members have introduced resolutions in the past calling for expungement—before the party controlled the chamber, the Washington Post reports. The new speaker, whom Trump supported in his campaign for the job, said at a press conference that the party has other priorities at the moment. He added, "But I understand why individuals want to do it, and we'd look at it." McCarthy did not say whether he'd entertain expunging both impeachments—one over the Capitol violence and one for pressuring Ukraine's president—or just one.

Although the Senate voted against convicting Trump in both trials, the impeachments are still on the historical record. Despite saying on the House floor after the attack that Trump "should have immediately denounced the mob," McCarthy later backtracked and visited Trump the same month, apparently mending fences. Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik, a member of House leadership, supported such a resolution introduced last year, per the Post. "President Donald Trump was rightfully acquitted, and it is past time to expunge Democrats’ sham smear against not only President Trump's name, but against millions of patriots across the country," she said at the time. The House, run by Democrats then, didn't act on the resolution, but a similar one could reach a vote under the new management. (More Kevin McCarthy stories.)

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