By Tank Murdoch
(TNS) Historians will remember President Donald Trump as one of the few American presidents ever to be impeached for the duration of the existence of America.
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Or will they? Not if Republicans retake the House of Representatives in November.
Last week top GOP leaders suggesting they would “expunge” Trump’s impeachment, effectively reversing what they have correctly criticized as an overtly partisan process against the president by Democrats over the fall and winter.
And on Friday, the president voiced his approval of the idea.
Asked by a reporter to comment on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) idea, the president responded, “They should, because it was a hoax,” he responded.
“That’s a very good question. Should they expunge the impeachment in the House? They should because it was a hoax. It was a total political hoax.”
McCarthy, along with Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), raised the expungement possibility after the Senate voted 52-48 to acquit the president of both articles of impeachment on Thursday.
“This is the fastest, weakest, most political impeachment in history,” McCarthy told the New York Post. “I don’t think it should stay on the books.”
“The House of Representatives should EXPUNGE this sham impeachment in January 2021!” Zeldin tweeted. “This was absolutely disgusting what Pelosi and Schiff just dragged our country through. The end is near not only for impeachment but hopefully also for their abusive grip on their gavels.”
Would it matter, though?
Yahoo News reported:
Since Trump was acquitted in the Senate, the effect of such a vote in the House would be entirely symbolic. While there is historical precedent — the House voted to expunge the censure of Andrew Jackson in 1837 — there is no expungement clause in the Constitution.
“There’s nothing in the Constitution that provides for a procedure of expungement,” James Gardner, a law professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo, told the Independent. “It would be of no significance — certainly of no legal significance.”
He added: “It might be of political significance.”
During an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos ahead of the beginning of the Senate trial last month, House Speaker hinted at the political nature of the House’s vote.
“He will be impeached forever,” Pelosi said.
On Friday, she added that no matter what, Republicans won’t ever be able to “expunge” impeachment from the historical record.
“If they don’t want to honor their oath of office, then they have to expunge from their own souls the violation of the Constitution,” she said.
Then again, since the act of impeaching Trump was purely political, formally expunging it would also have to be a matter of historical record.
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