Technically speaking, Trump has not been impeached yet
Did you know that as of now, the week before Christmas, that Donald Trump has not been technically impeached yet? Yes, the House of Representatives voted to impeach the president, but they have not actually sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate yet.
Sending the impeachment articles is what starts the trial process and determines Trump's future in the impeachment.
For now, the Democrats have decided to delay and Congress has gone home for the holidays without providing the articles of impeachment to Senate.
Now we're at a standstill and nothing is certain.
In fact, the Democrats who voted on the party-line could delay this for quite a while if they chose to. As stated by Noah Feldman of Bloomberg, there's a possibility that Senate needs to figure out what the impeachment trial will look like as per hints from Nancy Pelosi.
Feldman's article reminds readers that our Constitution does not set a speed or timeline as to when the articles of impeachment must be delivered 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.
Now here's the big part of Feldman's opinion piece with Bloomberg.
Vote now to REMOVE Pelosi from GOVT!
He states that impeachment is not technically a thing until the House sends the impeachment to Senate. As of now, it's just in the air.
If the House does not communicate its impeachment to the Senate, it hasn’t actually impeached the president. If the articles are not transmitted, Trump could legitimately say that he wasn’t truly impeached at all.
That’s because “impeachment” under the Constitution means the House sending its approved articles of to the Senate, with House managers standing up in the Senate and saying the president is impeached.
Feldman later discussed how we saw headlines in the media that says things like "Trump Impeached" and how they're technically incorrect as for legal statements. Something I myself was not actually aware of until now.
So what's actually true is this - the House voted to impeach Trump, but they still have not done so.
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.
Once the articles are sent, the Senate has a constitutional duty to hold a trial on the impeachment charges presented. Failure for the Senate to hold a trial after impeachment would deviate from the Constitution’s clear expectation.
For the House to vote “to impeach” without ever sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial would also deviate from the constitutional protocol. It would mean that the president had not genuinely been impeached under the Constitution; and it would also deny the president the chance to defend himself in the Senate that the Constitution provides.
So there you have it.
They voted to impeach Trump, but he is not impeached until the House sends the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
Feldman also stated that the House has "the sole power of impeachment" while the Senate has "the sole power to try all impeachments."
We're also now aware that Trump can be removed from office for any convictions that include "treason, bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
In other words, the only way Trump gets removed from office is if the House votes to impeach him, they did, and the Senate convicts him in a trial.
Republicans own the Senate, so the chance Trump is found guilty of anything is much lower.
Even Mitch McConnell has stated there is no (or little) chance that Trump is removed from office.
If you think back to 1999, the roles of the parties were reversed when Bill Clinton was impeached.
Republicans wanted him out, but Democrats didn't let it happen.
The same thing is likely to happen with Trump.