Speed Reads

History lessons

GOP leader Kevin McCarthy falsely insists a president has 'never' been impeached in their 1st term

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) doesn't quite have his impeachment facts straight.

"In modern history, we've never gone after impeaching a president in the first term," McCarthy said in a Monday appearance on Fox News ahead of the House Judiciary Committee's second public impeachment hearing. McCarthy then claimed longtime impeachment advocate Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) had once said "we have to impeach [Trump] because we cannot beat him." Green specifically said he was "concerned that if we don't impeach this president, he will get re-elected" and "say he has been vindicated."

McCarthy didn't specify what he meant by modern history, but seeing as it's generally accepted to include the entire time the U.S. has existed, his statement is just false. Andrew Johnson only had one term as president, and that's also when he was impeached. And if McCarthy is just going for the last few decades, well, there's only one impeachment example to draw from, and that hardly qualifies as a precedent.