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McCarthy says he supports House resolutions to "expunge" Trump's impeachments

House Freedom Caucus trying to impeach Biden
House Freedom Caucus trying to impeach President Biden 05:50

Washington — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he supports a pair of resolutions billed as efforts to "expunge" the impeachments of former President Donald Trump.

Speaking to reporters at the Capitol Friday afternoon, the California Republican said he would back a dual effort by GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor-Greene of Georgia and Elise Stefanik of New York to approve provocative — though nonbinding — statements of the House declaring that the impeachments are no longer recognized, "as if such Articles of Impeachment had never passed the full House of Representatives."

Trump is the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice. He was first impeached in 2019 by the Democratic-controlled House for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for his efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate then-candidate Joe Biden, his main political opponent. He was impeached again in 2021 on a charge of "incitement of insurrection" for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The Senate voted to acquit him in both cases.

McCarthy said the expungement resolutions would be referred to House committees and did not give an estimated timetable for their consideration. When CBS News and others pressed the Speaker about whether he supports a vote to "expunge" Trump's impeachment over the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, he said, "I voted against both impeachments. The second impeachment had no due process."

McCarthy, who led his party leadership's boycott of the House Jan. 6 Select Committee, declined to answer when CBS News asked if he'd also join Trump's calls for Jan. 6 defendants to be pardoned. 

In her statement announcing the resolutions, Stefanik said 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." Taylor-Greene said it is "clear that President Trump's impeachment was nothing more than a witch hunt that needs to be expunged from our history."

The expungement resolutions would have no path forward in the Democratic-controlled Senate, nor is it clear they would have any practical impact beyond political messaging. The proposals elicited denunciations from some House Democrats.

Rep. Dan Goldman, a Democrat from New York, told CBS News that the effort "is just a further continuation of the House Republicans acting as Donald Trump's taxpayer funded lawyers." 

When asked if he had reach out to Stefanik, his fellow New Yorker, about changing or withdrawing the resolution, Goldman said, "No, there's no getting through to Congresswoman Stefanik."

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