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U.S. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had planned to quit former President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill, the New York Times revealed in an audio recording on Thursday.
In the taped conversation, McCarthy, a Republican, said he did not believe Trump would resign voluntarily and was considering rallying Congress to have him impeached for a second time, saying he believed the measure would pass both at the House and Senate.
“I’m seriously thinking about having that conversation with him tonight,” McCarthy said. “From what I know of him – I mean, you know him too – do you think he would ever back down?”
McCarthy said he would alert the former president of his intention to initiate an impeachment trial if he did not step down.
“I think that will pass, and that would be my recommendation to resign,” McCarthy said. “That would be my point of view, but I don’t think he would take it, but I don’t know.”
McCarthy had previously denied having the conversation, saying an earlier New York Times report was “totally untrue and misguided”. However, the audio, which appears to corroborate the story, was later released by NYT reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, authors of the new book. It won’t pass, report of the 2020 elections.
Trump eventually faced an impeachment charge for inciting an insurrection a week after the riot. Meanwhile, a majority of senators voted to convict Trump – 57 to 43, including seven Republicans. But two-thirds, or 67 votes, were needed to convict. It was the second time Trump had been acquitted in an impeachment trial.
In 2019, articles of impeachment were first filed against Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, but he was also acquitted.