Was Donald Trump Impeached?

SethBullock

Moderator
Staff member
Noah Feldman is a Harvard law professor. He was also a witness called by Adam Schiff, Democrat, the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee during the House Impeachment Inquiry. He wrote this article...

Trump Isn’t Impeached Until the House Tells the Senate

According to the Constitution, impeachment is a process, not a vote.


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.

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.

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.

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.

The relevant constitutional provisions are brief. Article I gives the House “the sole power of impeachment.” And it gives the Senate “the sole power to try all impeachments.” Article II says that the president “shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Putting these three different provisions together yields the conclusion that the only way to remove the president while he is in office is if the House impeaches him and the Senate tries and convicts him.

The provisions say nothing about timing. Taken literally, they don’t directly say that articles of impeachment passed by the House must be sent to the Senate. But the framers’ definition of impeachment assumed that impeachment was a process, not just a House vote.

The framers drafted the constitutional provisions against the backdrop of impeachment as it had been practiced in England, where the House of Commons impeached and the House of Lords tried the impeachments. The whole point of impeachment by the Commons was for the charges of impeachment to be brought against the accused in the House of Lords.

Strictly speaking, “impeachment” occurred – and occurs -- when the articles of impeachment are presented to the Senate for trial. And at that point, the Senate is obliged by the Constitution to hold a trial.

What would make that trial fair is a separate question, one that deserves its own discussion. But we can say with some confidence that only the Senate is empowered to judge the fairness of its own trial – that’s what the “sole power to try all impeachments” means.

If the House votes to “impeach” but doesn’t send the articles to the Senate or send impeachment managers there to carry its message, it hasn’t directly violated the text of the Constitution. But the House would be acting against the implicit logic of the Constitution’s description of impeachment.

A president who has been genuinely impeached must constitutionally have the opportunity to defend himself before the Senate. That’s built into the constitutional logic of impeachment, which demands a trial before removal.

To be sure, if the House just never sends its articles of impeachment to the Senate, there can be no trial there. That’s what the “sole power to impeach” means.

But if the House never sends the articles, then Trump could say with strong justification that he was never actually impeached. And that’s probably not the message Congressional Democrats are hoping to send.


https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-12-19/trump-impeachment-delay-could-be-serious-problem-for-democrats



The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is not going to bully the Senate into holding a trial the way she wants it run. That is not going to happen. She is going to get NOTHING from the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell.

So ... Will she send the Articles of Impeachment over to the Senate?

This Harvard law professor argues that Donald Trump has not even been impeached yet until that happens.
 

Aussie1

Administrator
Plucked straight out of his arse, with absolutely NOTHING to cite to back it up. A cheap opinion piece. Not that is matters.
 

pinkeye

Wonder woman
No, we don't.

What happens next is up to a partisan Senate.
I imagine the same thing will apply here.
 

SethBullock

Moderator
Staff member
mothra said:
Clinton was acquitted. Do we argue that he was never impeached?
No, the process when through to its end.

The author is arguing that the House has taken a vote, but to press charges by turning those charges over to the Senate is necessary in order to technically impeach the President.

I just find it an interesting point of view, and it wasn't made by some random blogger, but a Harvard University law professor.

I have no doubt that other constitutional scholars will disagree with him, and I would imagine it would be easy to find opposing points of view on the internet.

But there is a process in the U.S. that is used every day that is similar, and that is the Grand Jury process.

A prosecutor may call witnesses to give testimony to a Grand Jury. Then the Grand Jury votes on the guilt or innocence of the suspect. If they vote in favor of guilt, they send a notice of that vote to a judge who then issues a warrant for the arrest of the suspect. When that happens, we say the suspect has been "indicted". In other words, the process of accusing the suspect has been completed. If the Grand Jury doesn't send that notice to a judge, the person is not indicted. They could vote all day for guilt, but the suspect is not indicted until those charges are brought before a judge who then issues the warrant.

I realize that impeachment of a president and indicting by Grand Jury are different processes, but I also do see the parallel.

I would say that, using that parallel, the House has voted its approval to do something (impeachment). Now, to complete the process and impeach the President, the House must deliver its charges to the Senate for trial. When they do that, the charges have been formally made, and the President has been impeached.
 

pinkeye

Wonder woman
oh well we will all find out eventually.

I think it is a GOOD THING that Trump has been impeached.
It was necessary.

He was/is a dirty bird, and needs to be held to account.

Well done America.
 

mothra

Administrator
Staff member
You can play semantics all you like Seth but the fact is Trump has been impeached. The history books will record that is one of 3 presidents who have been impeached in your country.

And you are on the wrong side of history. It's seriously time you admitted that.
 

SethBullock

Moderator
Staff member
mothra said:
You can play semantics all you like Seth but the fact is Trump has been impeached. The history books will record that is one of 3 presidents who have been impeached in your country.

And you are on the wrong side of history. It's seriously time you admitted that.
I read another article today that made a fair point. What the author was saying was that, the technical argument over what constitutes a completed impeachment aside, if the Speaker of the House doesn't deliver the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate, that the impeachment vote will forever have an asterisk - *never sent to Senate for trial*. So the arguments over semantics aside, the asterisk would forever remain on this uncompleted impeachment process.

I don't think I'm on the wrong side of history. What I believe is that the House passed these articles because Trump is not a Democrat and because they don't like him.

That is not reason enough to legitimize it.

Our country is more politically polarized than ever, and all this thing does is feed that polarization.

That's how I think history will see it.
 

Aussie1

Administrator
Sure, Democrats voted to impeach.....but there were two valid reasons for which there was compelling evidence. Trump abused his position and he obstructed Congress.

It is so easy (as Trump and his supporters are doing) to pass this off as partisan crap, but at the bottom of it all is one thing.......the conduct of Trump.

Half of my legal career doing criminal work or Trial work against coppers was in my rural home town of Bundaberg. I drove very noticeable cars and knew that just about every copper in town would have a target on my back.

I never gave them a chance by ensuring my motoring conduct was impeccable.
 

DreamRyderX

Active member
mothra said:
Clinton was acquitted. Do we argue that he was never impeached?
Clinton was eventually acquitted, subsequent to the Articles of Impeachment being voted on by a bi-partisan majority of Representatives in the US House, which were then sent to the US Senate, after which a trial date was set, & then soon thereafter a trial took place, whereas a vote to convict was taken at the end of said trial, & the US House, the prosecution, failing to make it's case, failed to get a 2/3rds Super-Majority vote of the 100 US Senators......see below, President William Jefferson Clinton was not convicted on the two (2) Articles of Impeachment, argued unsuccessfully by the US House Representatives (the prosecution), & therefore he stood acquitted of those two (2) charges because the Senate couldn't get enough votes (67 votes required) to convict.

..............................


So, yes, I agree, Bill Clinton was Impeached. :read



..
 

DreamRyderX

Active member
Aussie said:
Sure, Democrats voted to impeach.....but there were two valid reasons for which there was compelling evidence. Trump abused his position and he obstructed Congress..........
And the US Senate will have the final say in determining if the so called 'evidence', as so determined by the majority of House democ-rats, is valid grounds enough to warrant the removal of the President of the United States from the Office of President, to which he was duly elected in 2016.

PS.....For some of my Australian friends, & some Americans too, who can't get their heads around how an American becomes President of the United States, here is something I hope their heads can be gotten around..
:




................................................................[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eXCG-hlaqI[/youtube]


...................................................And for the 'adults' among you, this 'adult' version from 2016


................................................................[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gseOeyS0NQ[/youtube]


.......................................................................And Don't Forget the Electoral College


................................................................[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9H3gvnN468[/youtube]


..
 

SethBullock

Moderator
Staff member
Aussie said:
Sure, Democrats voted to impeach.....but there were two valid reasons for which there was compelling evidence. Trump abused his position and he obstructed Congress.

It is so easy (as Trump and his supporters are doing) to pass this off as partisan crap, but at the bottom of it all is one thing.......the conduct of Trump.
And yet, they wouldn't have impeached if Trump was a Democrat. Hell, 4 Democrats didn't even vote YES on impeachment on one article, and 3 didn't vote YES on the other.

A Republican and a Democrat come back from a walk in the park. One of them says they saw a duck in the pond. One of them says it was a goose. Both of them are willing to swear on a stack of Bibles that they are right. Both will stake their sacred honor on what it was.

Who do you believe?

On another day, a Republican and a Democrat come back from a walk in the park. Both of them say they saw a duck in the pond. They are both willing to swear on a stack of Bibles and stake their sacred honor on the fact that it was a duck.

Now who do you believe?

When a President does something bad enough to warrant removal from office by impeachment, we'll know it, and support for it will be bipartisan. This was the case with Nixon.
 

greggerypeccary

Active member
DonDeeHippy said:
so that's 3 out of the last 8 presidents to be impeached :purple
No.

It's more like 3 out of the last 28.

Nixon was never impeached.

Only three US Presidents have been impeached.

Johnson, Clinton, and the alleged child rapist - Donald Trump.
 

DreamRyderX

Active member
greggerypeccary said:
DonDeeHippy said:
so that's 3 out of the last 8 presidents to be impeached :purple
No.

It's more like 3 out of the last 28.

Nixon was never impeached.

Only three US Presidents have been impeached.

Johnson, Clinton, and the alleged child rapist - Donald Trump.
What's your fascination with CHILD RAPE Greggy???.....Alleged Rape of 13 year old girls........your ultra-repetitive posts focusing on that subject.....both here & especially in Ozpolitic......One has to wonder.......could it be that you're nurturing your own latent child rape fantasy..........seriously........one has to wonder why child rape seems to obsessively dominate your posting with unhealthy frequency???

Anyone else see this pattern of Greggy's???
 

johnsmith

Moderator
Staff member
DreamRyderX said:
What's your fascination with CHILD RAPE Greggy???..
only a moron wouldn't have a problem with a president alleged to have raped a 13 yr old.

Nothing surprises me with trumpards anymore.
 

pinkeye

Wonder woman
I must agree.

I find him, personally, extremely creepy. You wouldn't go near the freak... if you had a real choice.

YOU, Ryderx jerk what ever your fucking name is, loves all that, don't you.. eh? RX.?

Like follows like.


Hate to say that Seth. I hold you in much higher regard Seth.
 

DreamRyderX

Active member
DonDeeHippy said:
Seth wants to debate, ryder is a troll. Big difference. :purple

What's your fascination with CHILD RAPE Greggy???.....Alleged Rape of 13 year old girls........your ultra-repetitive posts focusing on that subject.....both here & especially in Ozpolitic......One has to wonder.......could it be that you're nurturing your own latent child rape fantasy?..........seriously........one has to wonder why child rape seems to obsessively dominate your posting with unhealthy frequency???
So asking him an obvious question, based on the content of his posts, & making a general statement based on 3+ years of observation regarding the obsessively similar content of his posts, e.g. 'child rape', is somehow inappropriate on a forum....contrived as some sort of an attack on a member, where somehow you all seem to find in necessary to defend that member, rather than letting him respond himself to the elementary question I put forward, as if you all never questioned in silence about the subject of his posts, at one time or another, yourselves?

IMHO, I asked the question(s) that needed to be asked.


If that offends you, than so be it.....I wont ask again.....the subject of why he is possibly fascinated with the subject of child rape, that forces him to repeat those statements ad nauseam......but I won't ask again if it makes you all uncomfortable.

I'll leave it up to you all to imagine the possible reasons/motives for his need(s) to repetitively post on that particular subject.

BTW...JFYI.....this is only the second time I've posted this/these questions (quoted above).....once here, & once in ozpolitic.


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