Season 1 of “Impeachment” was abruptly canceled Wednesday with President Donald Trump’s acquittal, and it doesn’t look like the made-for-TV spectacle is going to be renewed for Season 2.
Now, Republicans want to make sure the whole thing is deleted from the back catalog.
In an interview with the New York Post on Wednesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, vowed that his party would expunge Trump’s impeachment were they to retake the lower chamber.
“This is the fastest, weakest, most political impeachment in history,” McCarthy said.
“I don’t think it should stay on the books,” he said.
McCarthy would almost certainly become the speaker if the Republicans were to retake the House from the Democrats, and he says he’d use his power to strike the impeachment from the record.
“McCarthy and other Republicans say that investigating how Democrats … pursued their impeachment of Trump could provide the factual basis to underpin an expungement effort,” the Post said, naming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York.
“I think [if] we take the majority, some of the key priorities for us are infrastructure, lowering prescription drugs and others,” McCarthy said. “But I think when you look at what the Democrats have done, I also think we have to get to the bottom of it.
“There’s still an 18th transcript that was never released about the inspector general. It’s interesting to know, in there there was 179 pages, did Adam Schiff know the whistleblower? Did he meet with the whistleblower?”
“I think a lot of questions are raised about whether that individual, Adam Schiff, was a fact witness,” he said.
While an investigation would end up raising questions that should have been brought up by the impeachment inquiry — a welcome thing indeed — the question remains whether such an expungement would merely be, as a George Washington University professor put it, “cosmetic.”
“If a future Republican House were to vote to expunge the House-passed impeachment resolution, it would be a purely symbolic, even cosmetic move,” Sarah Binder, a political science professor and senior fellow in governance studies at the liberal think-tank Brookings Institution, told the Washington Examiner.
“This current House agreed to H.Res. 755. And while a future House could adopt a resolution that says it is striking the adoption from the Record, that doesn’t undo the fact that the current House agreed to those two articles of impeachment.”
She brought up the case of Andrew Jackson, who was censured by the House in 1834 but had the censure overturned in 1837.
“We still count Andrew Jackson as the only censured president,” Binder said.
Fair enough. However, Pelosi’s position has always been that impeachment is the scarlet “I,” the letter that can never be removed from Trump’s record. He’ll always be one of only three presidents to be impeached.
If McCarthy has his way, Trump will also be the only president to have his impeachment expunged.
The entire impeachment process has been nothing more than a political farce. It was the weakest of the three in U.S. history — an impeachment that proceeded through the House with a desultory, weighted inquiry that was designed to deliver a singular outcome — all so that that scarlet “I” could be tattooed upon the Trump presidency.
If that can’t be removed from the president, an expungement can’t be removed from House Democrats, either.
It would be a fitting end to the plot of a TV show.
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