McCarthy considering move to expunge Trump’s impeachment

House Republicans may be mounting an effort to begin clearing former President Donald Trump’s record on impeachment and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) seemed to suggest his openness to the idea with expressed sympathies: “When you watch what he went through…”

The 118th Congress has commenced in earnest after the speaker vote and rules adoption and with legislative wins being touted, like the defunding of 87,000 IRS agents, some members of the GOP are looking ahead to see what else can be accomplished. During his Thursday press conference this lead to McCarthy being asked about “interest among some rank-and-file Republicans” to expunge at least one, if not both, of Trump’s impeachments from the record.

The speaker did not shy away from the topic as he established his willingness to consider the proposal and said, “When you watch what he went through, I would understand why members would want to bring that forward. Our first priority is to get our economy back on track, secure our borders, make our streets safe again, give parents the opportunity to have a say in their education, and actually hold government accountable. But I understand why individuals want to do it, and we’d look at it.”

Previously, now-Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) had proposed legislation twice, in March and May of 2022, to eliminate the second impeachment of Trump and had referred to the actions taken by Democrats as “an unimaginable abuse of our Constitution.”

As his resolution proposed, the “Incitement of Insurrection” charge brought against the president contained “a subjective account of that which transpired at the Capitol on January 6, 2021” and “omits any discussion of the circumstances, unusual voting patterns, and voting anomalies of the 2020 Presidential election itself.”

Mullin 031 XML – 051822 by Washington Examiner

The resolution concluded that the impeachment would be “expunged, as if such Article had never passed the full House of Representatives, as the facts and circumstance upon which such Article was based met the burden of proving neither that President Trump committed ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors’…nor that President Trump engaged in ‘insurrection or rebellion against the United States’, such that he is forever precluded from ‘hold[ing] any office…under the United States’ pursuant to section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.”

When speaking with the Washington Times second-term Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) said “I would certainly be interested in it,” and his congressional classmate Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) noted he was “definitely interested” in wiping both impeachments from the record.

Georgetown University Law Center professor Joshua Chafetz argued the matter wasn’t as cut-and-dry as that and told Newsweek, “My argument would be that an impeachment cannot be expunged because it has effect outside of the House–that is, it causes the Senate to hold a trial.”

As it happened, neither of Trump’s impeachments led to a conviction in the Senate and Indiana University law professor Gerard Magliocca had argued in a December 2019 post that while, “It’s never been done before…I am hard-pressed to see why the House is bound by an impeachment passed by a prior one.”

“This is different from an impeachment and a conviction,” he went on. “The Senate’s judgment in impeachment trials is final. The impeachment itself, though, is not different from any other House resolution.”

President Trump did not specifically comment on this discussion publicly after McCarthy’s remarks, but he did share the Washington Times report on Truth Social.

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