There is an effort by some House Republicans to formally expunge the congressional record of the two impeachments against former President Donald Trump, an effort that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has voiced support for on more than one occasion.
It has now been reported that McCarthy previously promised Trump that he would ensure the expungement resolutions received a vote on the House floor, and Trump is now attempting to force McCarthy to make good on that vow in the immediate future, the Daily Caller reported.
However, the House Speaker has denied the veracity of that report and while has reiterated his support for expunging Trump's two impeachments from the record, he insisted that there never was a deal or a promise made for him to force a vote on the matter.
In an exclusive anonymously-sourced report on Thursday, Politico asserted that Speaker McCarthy secretly promised former President Trump that he would bring a pair of impeachment expungement resolutions to the House floor for a vote prior to a scheduled recess in August -- though that date has already allegedly been pushed back to some point in September.
That promise was said to have been made last month after Trump reportedly became angry that McCarthy had not yet endorsed his 2024 campaign -- the speaker has pledged neutrality in the GOP primary contest -- as well as that he had made comments which seemed to indicate that he believed Trump wasn't the best candidate for Republicans to nominate against President Joe Biden.
The problem now, though, is that Trump and his supporters are urging McCarthy to follow through on that alleged vow about the expungement resolutions while a sizeable number of centrist and moderate House Republicans -- particularly those facing close races or in districts won by Biden, or who aren't all that fond of Trump -- would really rather not vote on those resolutions that will undoubtedly spark intense controversy among Democrats and the media.
In addition, there is a real and ongoing debate among some House Republicans about if it is even constitutionally possible to expunge the two impeachments from the official congressional record.
On top of that, there is also a fear among some House Republicans that the effort could fail spectacularly, as only a few Republican members would need to vote against it in the closely split chamber for it to fall short of passage and the entire caucus is not yet fully onboard -- and would result in members being forced to cast a difficult vote that could backfire on them, either by riling up the media and their Democratic competitors or by angering Trump and his supporters via not displaying sufficient loyalty to the former president.
For what it is worth, Speaker McCarthy on Thursday denied the claims made in the Politico report when asked about by a reporter on Capitol Hill, according to ABC News.
"There's no deal, but I've been very clear from long before -- when I voted against impeachments -- that they put them in for purely political purposes," McCarthy said. "I support expungement but there's no deal out there."
ABC News further reported that, based on comments from House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), the expungement resolutions are unlikely to come to the floor any time soon, certainly not prior to the August recess, due to the fact that the "symbolic measure" did not yet have sufficient support to ensure passage as well as that the attention of members was largely focused on the appropriations bills process.
The two impeachment expungement resolutions were introduced jointly in June by House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), both enthusiastic supporters of former President Trump who have argued that both impeachments -- the first in December 2019 over Ukraine aid and the second in January 2021 over the Capitol riot -- were politically motivated and unconstitutional.
"The American people know Democrats weaponized the power of impeachment against President Donald Trump to advance their own extreme political agenda," Stefanik said in a statement."From the beginning of this sham process, I stood up against Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff’s blatant attempt to shred the Constitution as House Democrats ignored the Constitution and failed to follow the legislative process. 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."
"The first impeachment of President Trump was a politically motivated sham. The Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff, weaponized a perfect phone call with Ukraine to interfere with the 2020 election. Meanwhile, the FBI had credible evidence of Joe and Hunter Biden's corrupt dealings, confirming their involvement in a foreign bribery pay-to-play scheme and receipt of over $5 million each. All of this information was revealed to Congress by the FD-1023 form from the FBI’s most credible informant. The form vindicates President Trump and exposes the crimes of the Biden family," Greene said in a statement of her own. "It's clear that President Trump's impeachment was nothing more than a witch hunt that needs to be expunged from our history. I'm proud to work with Chairwoman Elise Stefanik on our joint resolutions to correct the record and clear President Trump’s good name."