t’s clear now that both impeachments of Donald Trump were shabby partisan affairs that will be remembered as shameful episodes in American history. But they happened, and that’s that — or is it?
Now House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has suggested that the impeachments could be “expunged.” Mediaite reported Friday that McCarthy “said at his first official presser in the job that he and the House GOP majority might ‘look at’ the idea of expunging ex-president Donald Trump’s impeachments.”
If this could actually be done, it would be a matter of simple justice. The first impeachment was over a phone call Trump had with Volodymyr Zelensky in which he spoke about Biden’s shady dealings in Ukraine; Democrats trumpeted this as an illicit “quid pro quo” while doing their best to get you to forget that Biden’s Ukraine connections are indeed questionable, and that their current pretend president has engaged in behavior that was quite similar to what they falsely accused Trump of doing. The second impeachment hinged on the bogus Jan. 6 “insurrection,” in which Trump is supposed to have tried to overthrow the government by sending a guy wearing face paint and Viking horns into the Capitol.
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.
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