Looks like the Democrats are all getting coal in their stockings and rather than celebrate the New Years they will be crying in their eggnog.
According to the Constitution, impeachment is a process, not a vote by the Trump hatting Democrats.
What exactly does this all mean – President Trump has not been impeached, and the worst case scenario has just happened to Nancy Pelosi – she in no longer in charge of what happens to the president, it is now in the hands of the Republican controlled Senate.
According to Noah Feldman, the constitutional expert and professor of law at Harvard University who was the Democrats key scholar who testified before Adam Schiff’s committee, President Trump can legitimately say that he has not been impeached.
Now that the House of Representatives has voted to impeach President Donald Trump, what is the constitutional status of the two articles of impeachment? Must they be transmitted to the Senate to trigger a trial, or could they be held back by the House until the Senate decides what the trial will look like, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi has hinted?
The Constitution doesn’t say how fast the articles must go to the Senate. Some modest delay is not inconsistent with the Constitution, or how both chambers usually work.
But an indefinite delay would pose a serious problem. Impeachment as contemplated by the Constitution does not consist merely of the vote by the House, but of the process of sending the articles to the Senate for trial. Both parts are necessary to make an impeachment under the Constitution: The House must actually send the articles and send managers to the Senate to prosecute the impeachment. And the Senate must actually hold a trial.
As it turns out, “impeachment” under the Constitution means the House managers must deliver the approved articles to the Senate, and stand up in the Senate and say that the president is impeached.
As for the headlines we saw after the House vote saying, “TRUMP IMPEACHED,” those are a media shorthand, not a technically correct legal statement. So far, the House has voted to impeach (future tense) Trump. He isn’t impeached (past tense) until the articles go to the Senate and the House members deliver the message.
If Nancy Pelosi never sends the articles, then President Trump could say with strong justification that he was never actually impeached, so Happy Holidays Democrats.