(WASHINGTON) — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy denied a report claiming he promised former President Donald Trump that the House will hold a vote before August recess on expunging Trump’s past impeachments.
“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. I support expungement but there’s no deal out there,” McCarthy said.
Politico reported McCarthy had made a promise to Trump.
The symbolic measure is not likely to come to the floor before recess because it lacks enough GOP votes to pass. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise told reporters, “I don’t think full membership has chimed in yet” on these resolutions and mentioned the focus next week is appropriation bills.
McCarthy has previously backed the symbolic resolutions, which were introduced by top Trump defenders on Capitol Hill Reps. Elise Stefanik and Marjorie Taylor Greene in June.
“I support that,” McCarthy said about both resolutions in June. “You should expunge it because it never should have gone through.”
Stefanik, who serves as the Republican conference chairwoman and is widely viewed as a top candidate to become Trump’s running mate should he win the nomination, said she speaks to the former president often.
Greene’s resolution seeks to expunge Trump’s first impeachment stemming from a call he made to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Stefanik’s resolution focuses on the second impeachment, downplaying the events of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and Trump’s role.
Stefanik said in a statement that the resolutions would “expunge the unconstitutional impeachments of President Trump as if such Articles of Impeachment had never passed the full House of Representatives,” but there is no explicit consequence of an expungement resolution, according to the House Parliamentarian’s office. The effort seemingly cannot undo the impeachment votes because they would still live in the congressional record.
While McCarthy has defended Trump throughout his legal troubles, the speaker has not yet endorsed Trump out of a desire to remain neutral — a sticking point for the former president, who touts his own role in securing McCarthy the gavel after 15 rounds of contentious voting earlier this year, Politico reported. McCarthy has openly questioned whether Trump is “the strongest to win the [general] election,” comments he later walked back.
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