(Headline USA) House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said that using the 25th Amendment to oust former President Donald Trump would take “too long” shortly after the Jan. 6 Capitol protests, according to a new leaked recording.
The conversation between McCarthy and a number of other House GOP leaders took place on Jan. 8, 2021, just two days after the protests. A GOP staffer remarked that Democrats were divided about what to do, adding that one option they were considering is invoking the 25th Amendment.
“That takes too long too. It could go back to the House, right?” McCarthy responded.
The 25th Amendment allows the vice president and a majority of the president’s Cabinet to remove the president if he is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” The president can object to the assessment, sending the issue to Congress, which can agree to remove him by a two-thirds vote of both chambers.
In a previously released audio recording, McCarthy was heard telling Republicans that he would ask Trump to step down from office. However, he said he never ended up meeting Trump, and he opposed any other effort to remove him from office, inlcuding impeachment.
“The only best way, I think, for everybody as Americans moving forward is to focus on the future, not the past, trying to bring us together,” McCarthy said. “And I do think the impeachment divides the nation further and continues the fight even greater.”
McCarthy also suggested setting up a meeting with then-President-elect Joe Biden.
“I actually think [Biden] personally would be stronger above it to actually say something to that extent, ‘I want to move the country forward,’” McCarthy said.
Trump and McCarthy have since made amends since the recordings were released, saying their relationship remains as strong as ever.
“He made a call. I heard the call. I didn’t like the call,” Trump said last month. “But almost immediately as you know, because he came here and we took a picture right there—you know, the support was very strong.”