Audio shows Kevin McCarthy planned to urge Trump to resign after Capitol insurrection
U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had planned to get former president Donald Trump to resign after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, The New York Times revealed in an audio recording Thursday.
In the recorded conversation, McCarthy, a Republican, said that he didn’t believe Trump would voluntarily step down, and contemplated rallying Congress to have him impeached a second time, saying that he believed the measure would pass both the House and Senate.
“I’m seriously thinking of having that conversation with him tonight,” McCarthy said. “From what I know of him — I mean, you guys know him too — do you think he would ever back away?”
McCarthy said he would alert the former president of his plans to begin an impeachment trial if he did not resign.
“I think this will pass, and that would be my recommendation you should resign,” McCarthy said. “That would be my take, but I don’t think he would take it, but I don’t know.”
McCarthy had previously denied having the conversation, saying that an earlier New York Times report was “totally false and wrong.” However the audio, which seems to corroborate the story, was later released by NYT journalists Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, authors of new book This Will Not Pass, an account of the 2020 election.
My statement on the New York Times pic.twitter.com/PWi2WkoWzh
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) April 21, 2022
Trump eventually faced an impeachment charge for inciting an insurrection a week after the riot. During that time, a majority of senators voted to convict Trump — 57 to 43, including seven Republicans. But two-thirds, or 67 votes, was needed to convict. It was the second time Trump was acquitted in an impeachment trial.
In 2019, articles of impeachment were brought against Trump for the first time for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, but he was also acquitted.