Noah Feldman who testified for Democrats during Wednesday’s impeachment debate in an article on Bloomberg asserted that President Donald Trump was not impeached until the House Judiciary Committee submitted articles to the Senate.
In the op-ed, defining impeachment, Feldman wrote that it was not just a House vote but a process that is official only when the articles were submitted to the Senate where a trial will be held first to prove the charges or otherwise.
Feldman wrote if the House did not communicate Trump’s impeachment to the Senate, it means the impeachment hasn’t been formalised. He said if the article is not transmitted to the House, President Trump had the full right to claim that he wasn’t legitimately impeached.
Going by Constitution, impeachment referred to the process that requires approval of the House and then sending those approved articles to the Senate with House managers announcing in the Senate that the president is impeached.
The media, however, reported otherwise. Soon after the impeachment debate where a few people voted against impeachment, media reported that Trump was impeached on the basis of majority votes in favour of the move. But technically, the US President is still not impeached as the House hasn’t submitted articles to the Senate.
Let’s understand it comprehensively:
If the House impeaches a president but doesn’t send articles to the Senate, is implicitly undermining the constitutional principles. Additionally, an impeached president must be provided with the opportunity to defend herself/himself before the Senate.
Meanwhile, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been unsure about sending articles to the Senate citing prejudices of the upper chamber as she isn’t convinced if the senators will be fair and impartial.
Speaking to reporters, Pelosi asserted that the decision to send articles will be a mutual one adding that they are yet to take a call on when to send the articles.