Appearing on Fox and Friends, former Whitewater Independent Counsel Ken Starr argued Pelosi’s stalling of impeachment by holding the articles “constitutionally wrong.”
Per FoxNews, Starr said that while an “impeachment is impeachment by any other name,” Harvard legal scholar Noah Feldman — one of the Democrats’ witnesses who testified in favor of impeachment — is “making a really good point.”
In a Bloomberg op-ed, Feldman cautioned that, in order to officially impeach the president, Pelosi must send the articles of impeachment to the Republican-led Senate. He said that while she can delay sending the articles, she cannot do so for an “indefinite” period of time.
“it’s an impeachment with a footnote or with an asterisk,” Starr said. “By the way, it never went over to the Senate, which I think means that it’s a bit of a phony impeachment.”
In an Op-Ed written by a Harvard Law professor called upon as a Witness by Democrats Trump isn’t actually impeached until the house tells the senate.
Feldman writes in Bloomberg:
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 off 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.