When asked about the possibility of erasing the impeachments during a Jan. 12 press conference at the Capitol, McCarthy replied that he would “have to look” at the situation, saying, “I understand why members would want to bring that forward.”
“Our first priority is to get our economy back on track, secure our borders, make our streets safe again, give parents the opportunity to have a say in their kids’ education, and actually hold government accountable,” he added. “But I understand why individuals want to do it, and we’d look at it.”
Trump was first impeached by the House in December 2019 over a phone call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He was charged with abuse of power for allegedly pressuring Zelenskyy to investigate a political opponent, and with obstruction of Congress, but was ultimately acquitted of those charges by the Senate.
In 2021, Trump was impeached again for alleged “incitement of insurrection” following the Jan. 6 Capitol breach. Again, he was acquitted.
Previous Expungement Attempts
Last year, then-Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) led House Republicans’ attempts to expunge Trump’s impeachment record, introducing a resolution to erase the former president’s 2019 impeachment in March.
“So, what we’re doing with the resolution is just simply saying, ‘Hey, listen, Congress made a mistake,’” Mullin, now a senator, said at the time. “‘We impeached a president under Article One, Section Two, that shouldn’t have ever taken place.’”
In May, Mullin followed up the first bill with a second resolution to expunge Trump’s 2021 impeachment. That bill (pdf), citing 2020 election irregularities and the impeachment’s rushed nature, held that the impeachment process had failed to prove that the former president had committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” or engaged in an insurrection.
Although both of Mullin’s resolutions garnered some Republican support, neither was ever considered by the Democrat-controlled House.