New House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has declared that the ‘sham’ impeachments of Donald Trump will be expunged this year.
McCarthy told reporters on Friday that he and the House GOP majority “might look at the idea of expunging ex-president Donald Trump’s impeachments.”
McCarthy didn’t explain where he got the idea that the House had the power to do this at all. The Constitution says simply: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Trump was impeached twice, once after he had left office, but not convicted either time. The Constitution doesn’t say anything at all about expunging an impeachment, but since Trump was not convicted and the “evidence” of his guilt that was presented each time is looking shakier by the day, McCarthy might be thinking that a new Congress could erase the whole thing from the official record and clear Trump’s name officially. While it doesn’t say anything about doing this, the Constitution doesn’t say this can’t be done, either.
It all started when a reporter asked the new House speaker: “So there’s been some interest among some of the rank-and-file Republicans to possibly introduce a resolution to expunge one of former President Trump’s impeachments or possibly both. What do you think of that? Is that something that you would be supportive of?”
McCarthy answered: “I’d have to look, when you when you look at, when you find that the final information that the Russia document was all a lie, when you watch what went through, I could understand why members would want to bring that forward. Our first priority is get our economy back on track, secure our borders, make our streets safe again, give parents the opportunity to have a say in their kids’ education, and actually hold government accountable. But I understand why individuals want to do it, and we’d look at it.” Not a ringing endorsement of the idea, to be sure, but McCarthy certainly left the door open to the possibility.
If this were done, the Senate and Old Joe Biden would stand in the way, but on the other hand, the Senate already acquitted Trump twice, and the Constitution also says that “the House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” Maybe the House Republicans could make the case that what they were expunging was only the two House impeachments of Trump, and that they have the sole authority to do this.
Leftists in Washington and all over the country would, of course, be positively incandescent with rage. This symbolic move would most certainly enrage them far more than any number of more substantive measures that the House GOP could possibly take up. Donald Trump is for them the very embodiment of evil, the one man who derailed their plan to supervise an orderly transition from Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton and continue America’s managed decline. That decline has resumed with a vengeance now, but Trump’s four years in office have deeply shaken the political and media elites, and opened up for them the possibility that their plans to transform the U.S. seamlessly and cleanly into an authoritarian socialist state could be disrupted again. They need the impeachments to reinforce the picture of Trump as the threat to “our democracy” that they have so assiduously painted. If the House GOP ever does really take up the possibility of “expunging” those impeachments, watch for the Left’s claws to come out as never before.
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