On Wednesday night if became completely official: Donald Trump is now the third American President to ever be impeached by the House of Representatives.
The news comes on a nearly perfectly partisan vote that everyone say coming. In fact, the entire impeachment saga is fairly well understood at this point: Trump gets impeached, then the Senate acquits him. It’s as simple as that.
Or is it?
You see, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pulling quite the stunt this week, simply refusing to progress the articles of impeachment forward, to the Senate, until such a time as Mitch McConnell either acquiesces to her wishes or makes it impossible for Pelosi to stall any longer.
McConnell simply wasn’t going to play along, however.
Pelosi has to transmit the articles of impeachment and appoint ‘managers’ to prosecute the president. She offered no timeline, saying she wanted to see the Senate’s plan for a ‘fair trial,’ effectively holding the articles over McConnell’s and Trump’s heads.
McConnell, who previously said he wanted to hold a trial in January, responded: ‘It’s beyond me how the Speaker and Democratic Leader in the Senate think withholding the articles of impeachment and not sending them over gives them leverage.’
‘Frankly, I’m not anxious to have the trial. If she thinks her case is so weak she doesn’t want to send it over, throw me into that briar patch.’
And, it gets even wilder.
Meanwhile, Trump’s lawyers are exploring the legal question of whether or not Trump has even been impeached since Pelosi hasn’t sent over the articles, Bloomberg News reported.
They argue, based on how the impeachment process is laid out in the Constitution, an impeachment isn’t formalized until the House reports the charges to the Senate.
The drama of impeachment could go on for some time, it seems, no matter how certain the outcomes seemed at one point.