Is he even going to show up?
#39 | Posted by chuffy
Trump would have to first ask for permission. Like the British monarch visiting Parliament, the President has to ask for permission before he's allowed to enter either the House or Senate chamber, at least if he's there on official business.
This is why they made a big deal a few weeks ago concerning Nancy Pelosi giving Trump permission to give the State of the Union Address on February 4th. There was speculation that she might hold off until after the impeachment trial, which she would have had every right to do. Of course, the President could have just stood in the White House Rose Garden and given the State of the Union. The Constitution, Article II, Section 3, says nothing explicitly about where the State of the Union is to be given, just that he must do so "from time to time". In fact, until Woodrow Wilson in 1913, the 'State of the Union' was delivered in writing to Congress. Wilson was the first President to give an 'in-person presentation'.
But getting back to visiting the Capital, protocol states that the President has to first make a formal, written request for permission to appear before a Joint Session of Congress to give his annual State of the Union Address, or for any other reason. Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker of the House, is responsible for giving formal permission for him to enter the House chamber. In fact, when the President arrives at the Capital building on the evening of the State of the Union, the doors to the House chamber are ceremonially 'locked' and he, or an aide, must first knock on the door and ask permission to enter. At that point the Sergeant at Arms for the House, after getting the nod from the Speaker, 'unlocks' the doors and accompanies the President to the podium.
I know this is an archaic tradition, but as I stated at the beginning, this is leftover from when it was established that the monarch, or in our case, the President, must first seek the permission of the people before they are allowed to enter the 'People's House', in England that would be Parliament, here in the US, that would be the House of Representatives.