Tom Williams/Congressional Quarterly/Zuma
New leaked audio reveals just how close Republican leadership came to supporting the movement to oust former President Donald Trump in the days after the January 6 attack on the Capitol. The audio was obtained by two New York Times reporters who detailed the conversation in their new book, This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future.
Publicly, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has toed the party line, but behind closed doors, he brainstormed ways to remove Trump from office. “What the president did is atrocious and totally wrong,” McCarthy said in a call on January 8, 2021.
— Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) May 4, 2022
McCarthy didn’t stop there. He also reportedly discussed the possibility of using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office before he demurred because, “That takes too long.”
McCarthy had long publicly denied ever threatening Trump’s power, but last month, audio clips revealed that he had in fact told Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) that he intended to call President Trump and tell him that he should resign. The new audio reveals just how deep McCarthy’s private opposition to Trump went, no matter how loudly or repeatedly he attempts to deny it.
“I do think the impeachment divides the nation further and continues the fight even greater,” he said. “I want to see about us meeting with Biden, sitting down, make a smooth transition.”