Republican leaders wanted to see then-President Trump impeached after the deadly January 6 riots at the Capitol and talk openly behind the scenes about their hopes for him to be ousted. from politics, according to a new report.
“I had it with this guy,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reportedly told associates shortly after the uprising.
That’s according to a new book, This won’t pass: Trump, Biden and the fight for America’s futurewhich New York Times details in a report out Thursday.
Before they voted to acquit him of his impeachment, McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are said to have explicitly blamed Trump for the violence on Capitol Hill.
In a January 8 phone call with House Republicans, McCarthy reportedly called Trump’s behavior on the day of the riots “brutal and completely wrong” and accused him of “inciting mobilize everyone” stormed the Capitol, according to a statement in the new book. Two days later, he went even further and vowed to urge Trump to resign, the book claimed.
“What he did is unacceptable. No one can defend that and no one should defend it,” he was quoted as telling Republican leaders, saying he planned to tell Trump about the impending impeachment and that “that is my recommendation, you should resign”.
McCarthy’s spokesman, Mark Bednar, denied the claims made in the book, telling Times that “McCarthy never said he would call Trump to say he should resign.”
But similar claims are attributed to McConnell in the book.
After the riots, he allegedly asked a reporter at the Capitol if he was conducting a 25th Amendment effort against Trump to remove him from office. And a few days later, he told two advisers that he was sure Trump would soon be removed from politics Times. McConnell is quoted as saying: “The Democrats will take care of the bitch for us. His office declined to comment on the claims to Times.
Ultimately, due to Trump’s continued support in the Republican establishment, both McCarthy and McConnell withdrew and voted to acquit the former president at his second impeachment trial.