Impeachment Articles' 'March' is Made-for-Media Moment

The network news operations and cable news and public affairs outlets provided live coverage of the House impeachment managers' promised march of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate Wednesday (Jan. 15).

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called it a historic moment as she signed the articles while a swarm of cameras clicked and whirred to capture the moment of her ratification of the articles--with a bunch of pens which Pelosi then handed out to her Democratic colleagues as keepsakes before the articles began their march to the Senate side.

She said the President was being held accountable for abuse of power.

The march was about optics, but also about the formal move of the proceedings from the Democratically controlled House to the Republican-controlled Senate, where Republican leaders have made clear they do not plan to convict the President.

The articles were taken over to the Senate chamber, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said they would be accepted Thursday (Jan. 16). Essentially that was a sort of "come back tomorrow" moment reminiscent of Dorothy and company in the Wizard of Oz--the House impeachment managers were shown taking the articles back to the House side.

McConnell said that he has invited the House managers to come to the Senate Thursday to exhibit the articles, then at 2 p.m. the Chief Justice will be sworn in, then will swear in the senators. The President will also be officially summoned to answer to the charges.

McConnell said that the trial will begin "in earnest" on Tuesday, Jan. 21. He said it was a difficult time, but that the Senate would rise above factionalism and serve the long-term interests of the nation.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.