Democrat’s Impeachment Lawyer Says Trump Is Not Impeached If Pelosi Sits On Articles Of Impeachment

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David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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The Harvard law professor who appeared as a Democratic witness before the judiciary committee impeachment hearing says impeachment hasn’t been concluded until the House delivers the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate.

Noah Feldman indicated in an op-ed published by Bloomberg that the Articles of Impeachment, approved in a House vote Wednesday night, need to be delivered to the Senate in order to actually impeach President Donald Trump.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 27: U.S. President Donald Trump listens while meeting with women small business owners in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on March 27, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Investors on Monday further unwound trades initiated in November resting on the idea that the election of Trump and a Republican Congress meant smooth passage of an agenda that featured business-friendly tax cuts and regulatory changes. (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump listens while meeting with women small business owners in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on March 27, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)

“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,” Feldman wrote. (RELATED: Democrats Stack Judiciary Impeachment Hearing With Anti-Trump Lawyers)

That poses something of a problem for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi  who is being coy about when, if, or how she plans to move impeachment forward. The Democratic California congresswoman says she might sit on the articles until she is assured of a “fair” trial in the Senate. House Majority Whip James Clyburn has even suggested the Democrats might never advance the impeachment process.

That’s a position that Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called “incredibly dangerous” and “uncharted waters — constitutionally,” on Thursday.

Feldman, no ally of Republicans or the president, would agree.

“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,” Feldman wrote. “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.” (RELATED: ‘It Makes You Look Mean’: Rep Matt Gaetz Tears Into Impeachment Panel Witnesses)

Feldman reiterated: “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.”

The professor notes that just because the media reported Trump was impeached, doesn’t mean he really was. “As for the headlines we saw after the House vote saying, ‘TRUMP IMPEACHED.’ those are a media shorthand, not a technically correct legal statement.”

Pamela Karlan, professor of Public Interest Law and co-director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School, listens to Noah Feldman, professor of law and director of the Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law at Harvard Law School, as he testifies during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., Dec.4, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

REUTERS/Tom Brenner

Feldman appeared to some to be so motivated by partisanship during his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee that he provided part of the inspiration for Republican Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert’s warning to impeachment hearing viewers, “All I got to say is, If you love America, mamas don’t let your babies grow up to go to Harvard or Stanford law school.”