Speaker Nancy Pelosi. | Matt Rourke/AP Photo Speaker Nancy Pelosi has appointed a team of seven House Democrats to serve as prosecutors in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. She named Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Jason Crow (D-Colo.), Val Demings (D-Fla.) and Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas) as managers.…
Speaker Nancy Pelosi. | Matt Rourke/AP Photo
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has appointed a team of seven House Democrats to serve as prosecutors in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
She named Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Jason Crow (D-Colo.), Val Demings (D-Fla.) and Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas) as managers.
“What is at stake here is the Constitution of the United States. This is what an impeachment is about,” Pelosi said, flanked by her new managers, whose names had remained strictly secret.
The House will vote on a resolution later Wednesday sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate, the last major House act before the trial can begin.
Senators are expected to be sworn in this week but the trial won’t begin in earnest until Tuesday, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Pelosi made clear she hand-picked the Democrats who will present the strongest possible case against Trump — both substantively and procedurally — to the Senate. Leading the team will be Schiff, who was one of the main public faces of impeachment over the last four months.
“The emphasis is on litigators. The emphasis is on comfort level in the courtroom,” Pelosi said, explaining the team she assembled. “The emphasis is on making the strongest case to protect our Constitution.”
Schiff, a former prosecutor turned House Intelligence Committee chairman, has earned the trust from across the caucus as he argued the public case against Trump for his role in the Ukraine scandal in a slate of public hearings this fall.
Every one of the impeachment managers has a background in practicing law or law enforcement. All but one — Crow — served on the committees leading the investigations into Trump, hearing dozens of hours of closed-door depositions that ultimately resulted in the president’s impeachment in December.
The group could hardly look more different from the 13 white men who prosecuted former President Bill Clinton in 1999. Pelosi’s team includes three women and four men, as well as two members of the Congressional Black Caucus and a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Pelosi made a concerted effort to tap Democrats who don’t come from the traditional liberal power centers: Crow is from Colorado. Garcia is from Texas and Demings is from Florida. Still, more than half of the group hails from New York or California.
Top House Democrats will formally march the articles of impeachment over to the Senate later Wednesday afternoon. It’s an arcane tradition that has been held up since the impeachment vote on Dec. 18 as Pelosi sought to extract concessions from Senate Republicans on the particulars of the trial.
Pelosi and her prosecution team used the Wednesday press conference to make a final plea to the Senate to bring in new witnesses and unearth new documents that hadn’t been available to the House trial.
“The American people deserve a fair trial, our democracy deserves a fair trial, our constitution deserves a fair trial,” Jeffries said at the press briefing. “Speaker Pelosi has given us the space for the American people to weigh in over the last few weeks.”
“The president violated his oath of office, undermined our national security, jeopardized the integrity of our elections, tried to use the appropriations process as his personal ATM machine,” Pelosi said. “That is what the senators should be looking into.”