Sep 12, 2023 - Politics & Policy

McCarthy blames Pelosi for his impeachment flip-flop

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) defended himself on Tuesday for changing course on whether an impeachment inquiry requires a full House vote, saying his predecessor Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) changed the precedent.

Why it matters: McCarthy unilaterally launched a probe into President Biden on Tuesday, less than two weeks after Breitbart News quoted him saying it would take a full House vote to kick off.

  • "She changed that," McCarthy told reporters, referencing Pelosi. "This is how you do it. So, I warned her not to do it that way in the process, and that's what she did so that's what we do."

Back in September 2019, McCarthy tweeted that Pelosi couldn't launch an impeachment probe into then-President Trump without a full House vote.

  • House Democrats conducted an impeachment probe for five weeks before voting on a resolution in October 2019 setting out the rules for the public phase of the inquiry. Trump was impeached in December 2019.
  • Pelosi announced a second impeachment inquiry into Trump two days after Jan. 6, 2021, again without a House vote at the start of the inquiry. Trump was impeached on Jan. 13.
  • Neither of Trump's Senate trials ended with conviction.

Between the lines: McCarthy did not explain why he had so recently said that an inquiry into Biden would require a full vote.

  • "To open an impeachment inquiry is a serious matter, and House Republicans would not take it lightly or use it for political purposes. The American people deserve to be heard on this matter through their elected representatives," he told Breitbart News in an interview that published Sept. 1.
  • "That's why, if we move forward with an impeachment inquiry, it would occur through a vote on the floor of the People's House and not through a declaration by one person."
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