President Donald Trump was officially impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Wednesday night, making him the third president in American history to be impeached.
However, according to a recent report from Bloomberg, the White House is considering the position that Trump was never impeached at all.
Once a President is impeached by the House, the articles of impeachment go to the Senate, where the President is put on trial with senators acting as jurors. All senators take an oath of impartiality before the trial begins.
As the inevitability of the House's impeachment became clear, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told Fox News' Sean Hannity that he would be working with White House lawyers to make the Senate trial easier for Donald Trump.
Devout Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) laughed at the idea that anyone would consider him an impartial juror, and explicitly said he wouldn't be.
Meanwhile, a showdown is occurring between Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and McConnell over whether the Senate will force the firsthand witnesses Trump forbade from testifying to Congress to come forward.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) indicated shortly after the impeachment vote that she wouldn't send the articles of impeachment to the Senate unless Republicans agreed to a fair trial, regardless of the likelihood of Trump's conviction.
And therein lies the argument the White House will reportedly be making: A President isn't officially impeached until the trial goes to the Senate.
According to Bloomberg:
"The White House legal theory, according to a person familiar with the legal review, is that if Trump has been officially impeached, the Senate should already have jurisdiction. Backers of the theory would argue that the clause of the U.S. Constitution that gives the Senate 'the sole Power to try all Impeachments' indicates that the impeachment isn't formalized until the House reported the charges to the upper chamber."
It's customary for the rules of a trial to be established before litigation begins, so people are befuddled as to how a delay pending rules for a trial in the Senate would somehow nullify Trump's impeachment.
To others, it was another indication of the White House's refusal to acknowledge reality.
While the President and his supporters might be convinced of this argument, history books will nevertheless remember Trump as the third President in U.S. history to be impeached. That is, if those who buy the spurious argument aren't the ones writing the history.