House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) declared his opposition Monday to impeaching Trump, arguing that members of Congress should refrain from doing so for the sake of national unity.
In a letter to House Republicans, McCarthy suggested four other options, including a censure resolution, although he did not make clear whether Trump, the rioters or someone else might be the subject of such a measure.
And despite Trump’s leading role in inciting Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol, McCarthy’s letter contained no mention of the president at all.
“Personally, I continue to believe that an impeachment at this time would have the opposite effect of bringing our country together when we need to get America back on a path towards unity and civility,” McCarthy said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post.
“Notwithstanding the Speaker’s push towards impeachment, I have heard from members across our conference who have raised at least four potential avenues available to the House to ensure that the events of January 6 are rightfully denounced and prevented from occurring in the future,” he added.
The four options suggested by McCarthy include a censure resolution; a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack on the Capitol; a push to reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887, which prevents a vice president from arbitrarily deciding to reject state votes; and unspecified legislation to “promote voter confidence in future federal elections.”
McCarthy said House Republicans would meet later Monday to discuss the options.
On a call with House Democrats on Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that a censure resolution “would be an abdication of our responsibility,” according to a person with knowledge of the call — meaning that at least one of McCarthy’s proposals is likely to go nowhere in the Democratic-controlled chamber.
News of Pelosi’s remarks was first reported by Politico.
In his letter to House Republicans, McCarthy also mourned the deaths of Capitol Police officers Brian D. Sicknick and Howard Liebengood and acknowledged that the past week “has been extremely difficult for our conference and for our nation.”
“Having spoken to so many of you, I know we are all taking time to process the events of that day,” McCarthy said. “Please know I share your anger and your pain. Zip ties were found on staff desks in my office. Windows were smashed in. Property was stolen. Those images will never leave us — and I thank our men and women in law enforcement who continue to protect us and are working to bring the sick individuals who perpetrated these attacks to justice.”