Fact check: Trump falsely claims he ‘never’ faced an impeachment inquiry

Alex Brandon/AP

Former President Donald Trump falsely claimed Monday that he “never” faced an impeachment inquiry.

Trump made the claim in a social media post the day after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said in a television interview that launching an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden is a “natural step forward” from current Republican efforts to gather information on the business dealings of the president’s family.

Trump posted on Sunday that Republicans should swiftly impeach Biden without first holding an inquiry, which is not a mandatory precursor to an impeachment vote. (CNN reported Monday that some members of McCarthy’s caucus remain skeptical of impeachment, with one lawmaker noting that they have not found evidence of Biden abusing his office for family profit.) Then Trump posted on Monday: “I NEVER HAD AN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, I HAD AN IMPEACHMENT, WHICH I WON! IT WAS STARTED IMMEDIATELY, NO MEETINGS, NO STUDY, NO DELAYS.”

Facts First: Trump’s claim that he “never” faced an impeachment inquiry is incorrect. Before the Democratic-led House impeached Trump for the first time, over his 2019 efforts to use the power of the presidency to pressure the president of Ukraine to investigate Biden, the House held an impeachment inquiry that lasted more than two months.

The inquiry was announced by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi on September 24, 2019. As part of the inquiry, House committees held closed-door hearings and then high-profile public hearings to hear testimony from witnesses. On December 3, 2019, Democrats released a 300-page report that summarized the inquiry’s findings; it was titled “The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report.” Trump was impeached by the House on December 18, 2019, 85 days after Pelosi announced the inquiry.

Trump would have been correct if he had made a more limited claim that Democrats did not conduct an official inquiry prior to impeaching him a second time, in the final days of his presidency in early 2021, over what the House concluded was his incitement of the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol. That impeachment, which the House voted on just seven days after the riot, centered on his public statements and actions that were publicly known at the time.

The Senate acquitted Trump after both impeachments.

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