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Audio reveals GOP’s Kevin McCarthy considered invoking 25th amendment to remove Trump from office

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Newly released audio of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy reveals the top Republican in Congress was engaged in talks about whether to invoke the 25th amendment against former president Donald Trump after the January 6 Capitol riot.

The audio, which was obtained by two New York Times reporters, shows how McCarthy engaged in talks at the highest levels of Congress discussing what options were available to the GOP to get Trump out of office. McCarthy also wanted to reach out to then-President-elect Joe Biden to congratulate him on his election win, even after weeks of arguments from the Trump campaign that the 2020 election was fraudulent.

In the call between McCarthy and a Congressional aide, the aide can be heard listing possible options for removal of the president, citing the 25th amendment as one option. In response, McCarthy is heard saying, “That takes too long too. It could go back to the House, right?”

The aide replies, “Correct. If the President were to submit a letter overruling the Cabinet and the vice president, two-thirds vote in the House and the Senate to overrule the President. So it’s kind of an armful.”

As reported by the New York Times, in the beginning of the call McCarthy starts by stating his feelings on January 6. “What the President did is atrocious and totally wrong.” 

When asked by reporters about the audio, McCarthy has denied ever pushing for Trump to step down. “I have never asked the President to resign. I never thought he should resign,” McCarthy said. “What I was asked on a phone call was about the process, the 25th Amendment, whether someone was impeached. We walked through ifs, ands and buts. It was never in the process to ask Trump to resign.”

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