White House considers arguing that Trump wasn't impeached: reports

The White House is thinking about making the argument that President TrumpDonald TrumpFacebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Section 230 worked after the insurrection, but not before: How to regulate social media MORE wasn't impeached because Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMissouri woman seen with Pelosi sign charged in connection with Capitol riots Boebert communications director resigns amid Capitol riot: report Revising the pardon power — let the Speaker and Congress have voices MORE (D-Calif.) has not sent articles of impeachment to the Senate, according to multiple reports.

The House this week voted to approve articles of impeachment accusing Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, but Pelosi has not said when she would deliver them to the upper chamber. 

A person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg, which first reported the news, that the White House legal theory is that the Senate would already have jurisdiction if Trump had been impeached. Proponents would reportedly point to a part of the constitution that gives the Senate “the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” 


Sources told CBS News that the White House sees the delay as a "Christmas gift" and that they intend to argue that it shows Democrats do not believe in their impeachment case. 

The White House may use this type of messaging, a senior White House official told CBS. 

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment. 

Harvard law professor and Democratic impeachment witness Noah Feldman has written in a Bloomberg column that the constitution doesn't say how soon the articles must be given to the Senate, but that "an indefinite delay would pose a serious problem.”

Pelosi and her fellow Democrats have expressed doubts that the Senate will conduct a fair trial, particularly after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said he is "not impartial about this at all."

He has also said that he will be in "total coordination" with the White House.

Republicans, including President Trump, have criticized Pelosi for not giving the articles to the Senate. 

"The Do Nothing Party want to Do Nothing with the Articles & not deliver them to the Senate, but it’s Senate’s call!" the president recently tweeted.