House Speaker Kevin McCarthy denies making a promise to former President Donald Trump of expunging his two impeachments.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has denied reports of a promise made to former President Donald Trump to have his two impeachments expunged before the August recess. Sources close to Trump had claimed McCarthy promised the president to put the issue up for a vote in the House.
The reports emerged just days after Trump revealed he had been informed that he was a target of the Justice Department’s Special Counsel investigation into the January 2021 Capitol riots.
Meanwhile, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accused McCarthy of acting out of cowardice for the former president. She claims the House had “no choice” but to impeach Trump and accused Republican lawmakers of being “pathetic” for still being in his pocket.
Asked about even the prospects of promising Trump impeachment expungement, Pelosi said: “This is not about the flag still being there. This is about being afraid. As I have said before, Donald Trump is the puppeteer. And what does he do all the time but shine the light on the strings. These people look pathetic.”
The first impeachment Trump faced came in September 2019 over a call he made to then-Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pressuring him to announce investigations into Hunter and now President Joe Biden – whilst also withholding $400 million in Congressionally approved military aid.
His second impeachment came after his supporters attempted to stop certification of the 2020 election results, with the then Democrat-controlled House voting to impeach him. Although the House voted Trump incited an insurrection, the Senate voted to acquit him in both impeachments.
When questioned whether she believes Trump committed a crime on January 6, Pelosi said: “The president is not above the law. We saw what happened. It was very clear. It’s heartbreaking. We always have to make sure that it’s about the rule of law and about freedom of speech and all of that. And he has – I mean, the courts will act. He has – he’s innocent until proven guilty.”
The vote to absolve Trump of misdeeds related to January 6 puts moderate Republicans back on the record – something sure to be used against them at the next election. But McCarthy himself owes the salvation of his leadership bid to the Trump-aligned members, such as Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
McCarthy has now tried to distance himself from the situation, telling NBC: “I support expungement, but there’s no deal out there.”
With the investigations into the Capitol riots already underway and fresh revelations coming out every day, all eyes are now on McCarthy to see if he will follow through with his purported promise to Trump.