It’s the impeachment that appears to be, except it is ‘not yet’.   The whole world watched the process live.  We have also heard, read, and have been told over and over again that President Trump has been “IMPEACHED!”  But, is he really?  All indications are that he is ‘not yet’ impeached and this is the basic reason why.

Impeaching a seating U.S. President is a two-step process both of which have to be fully met and complied with.  The first step which has two stages and must both be fulfilled is done by the Lower Chamber of the House of Representatives, the U.S. Congress.  

The second step is done by the Upper House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, once the Congress has fulfilled both stages of the first process, not just one.

For impeachment to be complete, both steps have to be fulfilled by the Congress as well as step two by the Senate in order to make it legit and official.

First Step

Speaker Nancy Pelosi presides over the impeachment process to impeach President Trump on Wednesday, December 18, 2019. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

The first step of the impeachment process is solely done by the Congress.  First, the House votes and passes the Articles of Impeachment and once that is done, a second stage follows.   Here, the House appoints Impeachment Managers who will then take the Articles over to the Senate.

Once they reach the Senate, the Impeachment Managers are required by the Constitution to pronounce that the President has been impeached, in other words, they have to read the Articles of Impeachment out loud and in full before the Senate and then state that, “The President is impeached.”  After that, they can hand over the articles to the Senate and that completes the second stage and therefore, the first step process.

Note: The language used is the process is also important particularly in the pronouncement which is made in the present tense.

Second Step

The Upper Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate. Credit: AP

The second step of the impeachment process begins at the Upper Chamber of the House of Representatives, the Senate, once the articles have been received. From that moment, the Senate has a constitutionally mandated duty to hold a trial after the President has been impeached.

The trial is supposed to be fair and balanced with four players involved.  The President’s representation through his lawyers, the House through its representatives, the Senate as the Jury and presiding over the proceeding is the Chief Justice of The U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Roberts.

However, without the Articles of Impeachment, the Senate cannot have a trial.  While the House has the sole power “to impeach”, it cannot solely hold on to the articles and not send them over to the Senate.  Doing so is a deviation from the constitutional mandate with which they are tasked to uphold.

Also, if they do not submit the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate, what that would translate to is that, technically, the President hasn’t been really impeached under the Constitution.  This is the current state of the Trump Impeachment under the House Democrats and Pelosi.

As a result, many legal scholars and Constitutionalists have come out to state that as a result of actions or lack thereof by Democrats and Pelosi, President Trump has ‘not yet’ been really impeached due to an incomplete process by the House.

How We Got Here

Nancy Pelosi is withhold the Articles of Impeachment in an unconstitutional extortion endeavour to influence the outcome of the Senate process, December 19, 2019. Credit: AP

What is important to note is this.  Both the two stages in the first step have to be fulfilled in order for it to be complete, not just one.  However, this was not done by the Democrats in their rush to impeach Trump.  They only voted to impeach but did not complete the second stage – delivering the articles to the Senate.

By not delivering the Two Article of Impeachment, the Democrats are denying the Senate the ability to conduct their mandated constitutional duty to hold a trial as stated in a brief provision of Article I of the Constitution which states that, “The sole power of impeachment” shall be given to the House.  

In addition, they are denying President Trump the right to a fair trial and a chance to defend himself in the Senate as stated in Article II of the Constitution that a President “shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

These three provisions, not one or less, but all three combined are the means by which a seating President of the United States is impeached and then, either removed from office or acquitted by a trial in the Senate.

Nancy Pelosi was excoriated by Senate Leader Mitch McConnell for using Articles of Impeachment to unconstitutionally extort the Senate in a bid to influence the outcome. Credit: EPA

As it stands now and with the impeachment process in unchartered limbo, it now becomes a matter of whether Democrats have violated the Constitution when they voted to impeach a President for the first time in history without any alleged crimes.  Regardless of the spinning by both Democrats and the media, public opinion now drives the narrative based largely on who they believe the most: Democrats, the media or sympathy for a President they feel has been unfairly treated and targeted from day one.

Furthermore, the optics of holding the Articles of Impeachment over the Presidency as some form of extortion to gain concession and thereby inadvertently influence the outcome of the process in the Senate, does not bode well with the public either.  In so doing, Pelosi and the Democrats are now themselves being seen as the ones actually “abusing power” and “obstructing  justice” including engaging in a very public, clear case of “quid pro quo” which, ironically, are the same alleged crimes they have accused President Trump of committing .  

Without bothering to complete the first step, the entire House could not wait to rush out of DC like the bulls of Pamplona to catch flights, trains and buses for a two week Christmas holiday.  In so doing, they left the impeachment process in uncharted limbo but most importantly, they negated their sworn responsibility.  

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