Republican leaders wanted to see then-President Trump impeached after the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol and spoke openly behind the scenes about their hopes for him to be ousted from politics, according to a new report.
“I’ve had it with this guy,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is said to have told associates in the immediate aftermath of the insurrection.
That’s according to a new book, This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future, which The New York Times detailed in a report out Thursday.
Before they voted to acquit him of impeachment, McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly blamed Trump explicitly for the violence at the Capitol.
In a Jan. 8 phone call with House Republicans, McCarthy is said to have called Trump’s behavior on the day of the riot “atrocious and totally wrong” and accused him of “inciting people” to storm the Capitol, according to claims in the new book. Two days later, he went even further and vowed to urge Trump to resign, the book claims.
“What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that and nobody should defend it,” he was quoted telling Republican leaders, saying he planned to tell Trump of the impending impeachment and that “it would be my recommendation you should resign.”
A spokesman for McCarthy, Mark Bednar, denied the claims made in the book, telling the Times that “McCarthy never said he’d call Trump to say he should resign.”
But similar statements were also attributed to McConnell in the book.
After the riot, he is said to have inquired with a reporter at the Capitol about whether a bid was underway to pursue the 25th Amendment against Trump to remove him from office. And days later, he told two advisers he was certain Trump would soon be driven out of politics, according to the Times. “The Democrats are going to take care of the son of a bitch for us,” McConnell was quoted saying. His office denied to comment on the claims to the Times.
In the end, due to Trump’s continuing support among the Republican base, both McCarthy and McConnell backed down and wound up voting to acquit the former president at his second impeachment trial.
Read Full Story At: The Daily Beast.