McCarthy Is Ready to Wipe Trump's Record Clean

GOP House speaker says he supports conservative effort to expunge former president's 2 impeachments
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2023 9:30 AM CDT
McCarthy: I'm All for Expunging Trump's Impeachments
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Washington on May 31.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Former President Donald Trump was the first US president to have two impeachments under his belt, and he might become the first one to have two impeachments wiped from his history—at least, that's the hope of some conservatives who are pushing to make sure that happens. GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on Friday he'd support such an effort to scrub the pair of impeachments, telling reporters outside his Capitol office that one of the impeachments "was not based on true facts," while the other was "on the basis of no due process," per the Hill. "I think it is appropriate, just as I thought before, that you should expunge it because it never should have gone through," McCarthy noted, adding that any resolutions to get that going would have to go a committee process.

On Thursday, GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene put forth the first of two such resolutions—hers focused on the 2019 impeachment over Trump's abuse of power for threatening to withhold military aid to Ukraine unless it launched a probe of his political rivals. The second resolution, which covered the 2021 impeachment over Trump's responsibility for incitement of insurrection on Jan. 6, was sponsored by House GOP Conference Chairwoman Rep. Elise Stefanik. Trump was acquitted in both of those impeachment trials. USA Today notes that McCarthy's words on Friday show Trump is still being bolstered by many House GOPers as he remains the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination.

It's not clear, however, if expungement is even possible, as the impeachment votes themselves can't be undone. The Hill also notes that, from a "practical" standpoint, even if the impeachments were able to be expunged, people aren't likely to forget them anytime soon, which could still carry political repercussions. Reuters notes that expunging an impeachment has no precedent in the United States, and George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley says there's nothing in the Constitution that spells out such a process. "It is not like a constitutional DUI," he says. "Once you are impeached, you are impeached.' (More Trump impeachment stories.)

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