OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A Republican lawmaker has introduced legislation to expunge former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment.
Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma introduced the measure on Tuesday, arguing that the first impeachment was “an unimaginable abuse of our Constitution.”
If passed by the House, the resolution would call for expunging the 2019 impeachment, in which Democrats charged him with attempting to leverage U.S. military support for Ukraine to convince the government of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to investigate Biden family financial activities in his country.
“President Trump was impeached over a sabotaged, perfect phone call,” Mullin said in the press release. “The hearsay of witnesses completely contradicted the plain text of the transcript. Facts did not matter, and Democrats in the House impeached President Donald J. Trump, nevertheless.
“Now, we have Joe Biden stoking international crises with public comments surrounding the same nation. And Democrats in Congress remain predictably speechless,” the statement continued.
The Washington Examiner adds:
Mullin’s resolution used the term “expungement” because that was the verbiage used to describe the withdrawal of a censure against President Andrew Jackson in the U.S. Senate, a spokeswoman for Mullin told the Washington Examiner. The Senate “censured” Jackson in 1834 and later “expunged” the censure in 1837 after the Senate “switched hands,” the spokeswoman explained.
The resolution mentioned the impeachments of former Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, saying they were “based on well-defined and specific criminal acts” and arguing Trump’s impeachment was based “entirely on secondhand knowledge” from an anonymous “whistleblower.”
In addition, the resolution says that Trump took “every reasonable measure to ensure that which transpired between the White House and Ukraine was as transparent as possible,” which included the unprecedented release of the transcript of a phone call he held with Zelenskyy in September 2019. Trump also had his administration release a redacted version of the whistleblower complaint, submitted anonymously, “so that all Americans could read it for themselves.”
Mullen is also running for the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Sen. Jim Inhofe.
It’s not likely that the expungement resolution would pass under the current Democrat-controlled Congress, but by introducing the bill now, it will be easier to re-introduce it if the GOP retakes control of one or both chambers following the November elections.
If Republicans do win back control, it is expected that Trump will formally declare his candidacy for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination if he decides he wants to run one more time.
But one figure from the first impeachment, Fiona Hill, has warned that a Trump victor could cause “open civil war.”
Hill, a British-American and former Russia expert at the National Security Council who testified against then-President Donald Trump during his first impeachment, made her eye-opening comments in an interview with PBS in October. She claimed that Trump would return to the presidential fore “on a lie” — that is, his belief the 2020 election was stolen from him, an opinion that is shared by tens of millions of his supporters.
“You have said that if Donald Trump, makes a successful return to the presidency in 2024, quote, ‘democracy’s done.’ What do you mean by that?” asked PBS “Fireline” host Margaret Hoover.
“What I mean by that is that he is basically trying to come back again on the basis of a lie. He has repudiated the outcome of the 2020 election, and yet he’s expecting, you know, to be reelected in 2024. So that is the main thesis, that’s the man propelling force behind his bid for reelection,” Hill, now a senior fellow at the left-leaning Brookings Institute think tank, replied.
“So just that basic fact of how he is campaigning is in itself a massive problem because he is rejecting the democratic system and the outcome of the 2020 election,” she said.
“But it will be seen in the eyes of all of those who, you know, vote and their votes are counted through the popular votes as inherently, deeply illegitimate. And we then are setting ourselves for even more violence. If people feel that their voices are no longer heard through the ballot box and they have to take to the streets then we end up in, you know, the potential of an open civil war,” she continued.