In front of the White House on Friday, Trump was asked by a reporter whether he believed the House should expunge his impeachment from the congressional record.
“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.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Rep Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., two of Trump’s most fervent supporters on Capitol Hill, raised the possibility of expungement shortly before the president’s acquittal in his Senate trial.
“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.”
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.”
On the eve of Trump’s Senate impeachment trial last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it would be a stain on his record, regardless of the outcome.
“He will be impeached forever,” Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.”
On Friday, the House speaker said 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.
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