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Trump’s Biggest Wish Come True: He Gets His Impeachments Wiped Clean?

Donald Trump. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Donald Trump

Prior to Donald Trump, only two presidents in American history, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, were ever impeached, and neither ever ran for president again after that. Donald Trump will be the first impeached president to ever seek the presidency again. 

Donald Trump was impeached twice. But two of Trump’s biggest loyalists in Congress are pushing to expunge those impeachments. 

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who has spent more than two years trying to impeach Trump’s successor Joseph Biden, is now part of an effort to expunge Trump’s impeachments. 

According to Axios, Greene and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who is chair of the House Republican Conference, have introduced legislation to undo Trump’s impeachments, with Greene sponsoring the one to overturn the 2019 impeachment (over Trump’s call to the Ukrainian president in which he threatened to withhold military aid) and Stefanik sponsoring one to overturn the 2021 impeachment (over Trump’s role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election.) 

“Whereas President Trump was wrongfully accused of misconduct in House Resolution 755, Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors, as demonstrated by the information revealed in an unclassified FD-1023 FBI document: Now, therefore, be it resolved that the December 18, 2019, impeachment of President Donald John Trump is expunged, as if such 3 Articles had never passed the full House of Representatives,” Greene’s resolution says. 

The “FD-1023” is a reference to the dodgy FBI report  House Republicans are using to build their efforts to show President Joe Biden accepted bribes from Ukraine. 

Stefanik’s resolution is longer, but no more logically sound than Greene’s. In fact, the resolution coming from the third-ranked Republican in the current House leadership is considerably more unhinged than the one pushed by the backbencher who is more known for unhinged stunts and rhetoric than for any record of legislative accomplishment. 

The press release, in reference to Stefanik’s articles, cites a litany of long-debunked conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and January 6. 

It references “the subjective account of what transpired at the Capitol on January 6th, the omission of discussion of circumstances and unusual voting patterns leading up to the 2021 Presidential election, the lack of consideration for the vote numbers and breakdowns, the whimsical changing of the legislative process for impeachment, and much more.” 

Donald Trump and the Expungement 

The idea of “expungement” of the impeachments came up after Republicans took back the House earlier this year and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had said that he was willing to consider the idea. 

“Generally speaking, a majority can pass a resolution that expresses their sentiment. And so in that sense, there’s probably a good case to be made that they would have the power to do that,” University of North Carolina Professor Michael Gerhardt told US News at the time. “In order for any kind of resolution regarding Trump’s first impeachment to be undone, you’d have to concede at the outset, this action that we’re doing has no legal effect.” 

However, the impeachment process doesn’t work like a regular piece of legislation, or even a censure like the one passed against Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) earlier this week in reaction to Schiff’s investigations into Trump and his alleged ties to Russia. 

“Impeachment is different because when the House impeaches a president, then it then causes something outside of the House to happen,” Josh Chafetz, a law professor at Georgetown Law, told US News in that story earlier this year. “So my view is that the House can’t sort of expunge an impeachment. Once it has impeached, the matter is sort of out of the House’s hands at that point, which I think makes it importantly different than a censure.”

Expertise and Experience

Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

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Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.