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July 24, 2023 1:08 pm MST

Ken Buck Twists Self Into Pretzel For Trump Once Again

  • by: Colorado Pols
Rep. Ken Buck fingers the culprit.

CNN reports on the drama within the U.S. House Republican majority over a push to “expunge” former President Donald Trump’s two impeachments from the congressional record, a demand made by Trump personally but running into a wall of opposition that includes a number of not-so-MAGA Republicans:

Multiple sources tell CNN that calling a House vote to expunge the two impeachments against the former president would be a fool’s errand, as leadership does not have the votes to pass this. So even if McCarthy indicated to Trump he’d do it, it’s unlikely votes would be there – likely further inflaming tensions. Additionally, it is unclear if expunging an impeachment is possible and it has never been done before…

“Expunging” Trump’s two impeachments would in no way erase the historical record we all lived through, of course, and a narrow partisan House majority taking this vote would do absolutely nothing to ease national divisions over Trump’s presidency. And that’s before you consider that there will be Republican “no” votes, and just a handful of those would be required to turn the attempt to retroactively exonerate Trump into another full-blown public relations disaster.

But in the event House Speaker Kevin McCarthy does put an impeachment expungement measure to a vote, it looks like he’ll have the support of Colorado’s Rep. Ken Buck–despite Buck complaining that the whole business is superfluous and not constitutionally grounded:

GOP Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins Friday that he would vote to expunge Trump’s impeachment if McCarthy were to bring it to the floor but added that it wouldn’t be “wise” for the speaker to do so “in terms of precedent that it sets.” [Pols emphasis]

“It’s probably wise for the Republican base. It’s not wise in terms of constitutional history,” Buck said on “The Source,” adding that “the Senate expunged when they voted not to impeach.”

If you know anything about Rep. Buck’s voting history in Congress, you know he’s one of the most dependable maverick “no” votes on legislation that he considers to be constitutionally or otherwise problematic–Buck’s consistent votes against raising the nation’s debt ceiling regardless of which party controls the White House being just one example. But despite Buck condemning the attempt to expunge Trump’s impeachments as “not wise in terms of constitutional history,” Trump doesn’t have to worry about Buck’s actual vote on the matter. Just like Buck’s vote to censure Rep. Ilhan Omar despite calling it “the stupidest vote in the world,” Buck is choosing for political reasons to not stand by his own stated principles.

Although Buck has flirted in recent months with disloyalty to Trump, the lack of any emergent alternative to Trump among the anemic field of Republican challengers is almost certainly factoring into his promise to vote for an “expungement” of Trump’s impeachment that Buck doesn’t even believe in. There’s no other way to excuse Buck’s failure to stand on principle in this case when he so obstinately does on vastly more consequential issues like the debt ceiling.

Except cowardice. That would explain pretty much everything.


4 thoughts on “Ken Buck Twists Self Into Pretzel For Trump Once Again

  1. In the real world, if a resolution is SOLELY for the purposes of a chamber, it can be reversed or expunged as a result of a majority vote.  Once it has triggered action beyond its own chamber, the possibility of withdrawing it has no impact.

    For example — if the House were to pass legislation (such as an appropriation) and it was transmitted to the Senate, the Senate could pass it and send it to the President for signature.  It would not matter if the House held an additional vote and shifted the appropriation.


  2. I love this talk of expungement. What usually comes after a record is expunged? Why a motion to seal the fact that the arrest or conviction had ever occurred.

    I want to see Kevin McCarthy move to seal the fact that Trump was ever impeached from the record of history.

    BTW, JohnInDenver was correct about the resolutions that affect only one chamber being rescindable or expungable.  The House censured Trump's hero, Andrew "Trail of Tears" Jackson. Yet later, when Jackson's supporters retook the House, they rescinded the censure. 

    1. Minor correction … it was the Senate that censured Andrew Jackson.  Should you be interested, you can see [poorly] what a major difference it made:

      Page from the Senate Journal Showing the Expungement of a Resolution to Censure President Andrew Jackson, 1834

      "On January 16, the secretary of the Senate carried the 1834 Journal into the Senate Chamber, drew careful lines around the text of the censure resolution, and wrote, “Expunged by order of the Senate."

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