An audio recording released by the New York Times, an adamant political foe of President Trump, reveals that Rep. Kevin McCarthy, longtime GOP leader in the House and possible House Speaker if the party takes the majority in the fall 2022 elections, had discussed suggesting that President Trump resign.
This was at a time when legacy and social media were uniformly blaming President Trump for the few hundred people who rioted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, an event that resulted mostly in trespassing and vandalism charges against a few hundred people. One unarmed protester was shot and killed by police and several other deaths occurred from natural causes.
There also were present, according to court documents, several dozen activists in the pay of the federal government, and video evidence shows security officers holding doors open so the protesters, who had concerns about the legitimacy of the 2020 election, could enter the building.
That event triggered the U.S. House’s second campaign to impeach Trump – which failed like the first a year earlier. The second impeachment campaign run by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was unique in that it included virtually no evidence, just a vote in the House and Pelosi’s demand that the Senate convict, which it did not do.
The conversation came about as McCarthy was speaking with Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., also a longtime and adamant opponent of President Trump, who was pressuring for a movement to coerce Trump to resign in lieu of Pelosi’s impeachment agenda.
McCarthy said, to Cheney, he would call President Trump and say, “It would be my recommendation you should resign.”
Here it is via @nytimes. Kevin McCarthy on the phone with @RepLizCheney “I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign.” pic.twitter.com/uk0sLDVdoa
— Jean (@jeanvas5) April 22, 2022
Whether that recommendation actually was made was unclear, but Trump did not resign, setting up the constitutionally unclear circumstance of Pelosi arguing for a Senate impeachment conviction for Trump after he already had left office. Democrats left it clear they wanted a conviction in order to prevent Trump from ever running for office again.
A commentary at the political blog Red State said the details were revealed in a New York Times report by political writers Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin about a new book they’re promoting.
The blog report explained, “While McCarthy initially condemned the attack on the Capitol, he has remained a staunch loyalist to former President Donald J. Trump both in front of the news cameras and in the published press. However, these conversations paint a picture of a leader frustrated with how to best handle the aftermath of January 6 and how to hold Trump accountable for the Capitol attack.”
The Times wrote, “In the days after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building, the two top Republicans in Congress, Representative Kevin McCarthy and Senator Mitch McConnell, told associates they believed President Trump was responsible for inciting the deadly riot and vowed to drive him from politics.
“Mr. McCarthy went so far as to say he would push Mr. Trump to resign immediately: ‘I’ve had it with this guy,’ he told a group of Republican leaders, according to an audio recording of the conversation obtained by The New York Times.”
The Democrats have continued to use the riot as a political sword, with Pelosi’s special committee created to “investigate.”
That has turned into a one-sided campaign against Trump, as Pelosi refused to seat the GOP’s nominees for the committee, and instead she picked a pair of Trump-hating GOP members, Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, to be the GOP voice on the panel.
GOP leaders like McCarthy, since have declined to testify, citing the political bias.
The Washington Post cited two people familiar with the conversation in reporting McCarthy and Trump spoke after the recording was released.
The report said, “Trump was not upset about McCarthy’s remarks and was glad the Republican leader didn’t follow through, which Trump saw as a sign of his continued grip on the Republican Party.”
But there still are complications to be resolved, the report said.
“If Trump comes out and says [McCarthy] lost my faith and can’t be speaker, that is bold. That will move people. If he puts out a statement complaining — he complains about McConnell all the time and hasn’t threatened his position in leadership,” one Republican congressional aide said – on condition of anonymity.
The audio was released after a report said McCarthy and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell privately pledged to push Trump out at the time.
The report said Martin and Burns, promoting their book on CNN, shared other audio clips where McCarthy blames Trump for the riot.
On one of those clips, McCarthy is saying, “But let me be very clear to all of you and I’ve been very clear to the president: He bears responsibility for his words and actions. No ifs, ands or buts. I asked him personally today: ‘Does he hold responsibility for what happened? Does he feel bad about what happened?’ He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened and he need to acknowledge that.”
Cheney’s office claimed it was not her that provided the recordings to the book writers. She, in fact, was removed from her party leadership position by Republicans because of her unwavering opposition to Trump.
Some Republicans said, according to the report, it was a “non-issue.”
Other audio clips suggest McConnell also was critical of Trump at the time, but both McConnell and McCarthy since have backed him.
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.