House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tapped two trusted committee chairmen to lead the team that will make the case in the Senate for President Trump’s removal from office, supported by a relatively small cast of additional impeachment “managers.”
Confirming widespread speculation that swirled for weeks as she held back the articles, Pelosi turned to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) to lead the House team. She made the announcement at a Wednesday news conference after keeping the cast of managers under tight wraps for weeks.
Joining Schiff and Nadler are Democratic Reps. Jason Crow (Colo.), Val Demings (Fla.), Sylvia Garcia (Tex.), Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) and Zoe Lofgren (Calif.).
The seven-member team is smaller than the 13-member squad that presented articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton to the Senate in 1999, reflecting a more tightly controlled approach to the investigation. In a sign of the highly choreographed process, Garcia said she learned only Tuesday that she would be named a manager.
“The emphasis is on litigators. The emphasis is on comfort level in the courtroom. The emphasis is on making the strongest possible case” to the Senate, Pelosi said Wednesday as she introduced the team.
Schiff, 59, has been the unquestioned leader of the congressional investigation into Trump’s alleged scheme to coerce the Ukrainian government into investigating his political rivals by withholding nearly $400 million in military aid.
The House Intelligence Committee was joined by three other panels in conducting the probe, but it was Schiff — a former federal prosecutor who is among Pelosi’s most trusted colleagues — who directed the effort from the start.
Nadler, 72, headed the second phase of the House impeachment inquiry, laying the constitutional foundation for the adoption of the two articles — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — and shepherding them to the House floor.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Nadler cited an “overwhelming case” for Trump’s removal but also said it was incumbent on the Senate to call additional witnesses — deeming it a “test of the Constitution.”
“The American people know that in a trial you have witnesses, you present evidence,” he said. “The Senate is on trial as well as the president.”
The House is expected to vote Wednesday afternoon to formally name the managers and send the two articles to the Senate. After the vote, Pelosi has scheduled a formal ceremony to sign and “enroll” the articles for transmission across the Capitol, followed by a procession of the managers to the Senate door.
Contrary to much of the speculation that had swirled ahead of the announcement, aside from Schiff, only one other manager is a member of the Intelligence Committee — Demings, who belongs to both the Intelligence and Judiciary panels.
All seven, however, have a variety of professional backgrounds in the law.
Demings, 62, is the only nonlawyer, but she is steeped in law enforcement, having served as the first woman chief of the Orlando Police Department. Garcia, 69, one of two freshmen on the managers’ team, is a former state senator and longtime county judge.
Lofgren, 72, is participating in her third impeachment. She worked as a congressional staffer during the 1974 impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon and served on the Judiciary Committee during the 1998 proceedings against Clinton. While she is best known on Capitol Hill for her immigration expertise, Lofgren also has broad experience in constitutional matters and is a trusted Pelosi ally.
Jeffries, 49, has emerged this year as one of his party’s chief messengers as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. But before embarking on his congressional career, Jeffries worked as a corporate litigator in New York and has long served on the Judiciary Committee. There he worked closely with Republicans — and Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner — to advance a major criminal justice reform bill in 2018.
Crow, 40, is the only manager who did not serve on any of the investigating committees, but he has national security credentials as a former U.S. Army Ranger officer and member of the House Armed Services Committee. He also practiced law before his 2018 election to Congress and was a key member of a group of seven freshmen who spoke up at a critical juncture in September to support the launching of an impeachment inquiry.
Diversity was also a consideration in selecting the team, aides said in the weeks leading up to the announcement. Three of the seven are women. Demings and Jeffries are African American; Garcia is Latina. Garcia and Crow also bring geographic diversity to a group otherwise drawn from coastal states.
Among the lawmakers she passed over are some of the House’s most aggressive advocates for impeachment — including some with legal backgrounds such as Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), an Intelligence Committee member who worked as a state prosecutor, and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a Judiciary Committee member who was a constitutional law professor at American University in Washington.
Nor did Pelosi choose independent Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, a former Republican who some observers suggested could help make the case for removal a less partisan one.
“I believe they bring to this case in the United States Senate great patriotism, great respect of the Constitution of the United States, comfort level in the courtroom,” Pelosi said of her chosen managers. “It’s going to be a very big commitment of time, but I don’t think we could be better served.”
Here’s what you need to know to understand the impeachment of President Trump.
What’s happening now: Trump is now the third U.S. president to be impeached, after the House of Representatives adopted both articles of impeachment against him.
What happens next: Impeachment does not mean that the president has been removed from office. The Senate must hold a trial to make that determination. The House will vote Wednesday on a resolution appointing impeachment managers and transmitting the articles of impeachment to the Senate, meaning that a trial could begin this week. Here’s more on what happens next.
How we got here: A whistleblower complaint led Pelosi to announce the beginning of an official impeachment inquiry on Sept. 24. Closed-door hearings and subpoenaed documents related to the president’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky followed. After two weeks of public hearings in November, the House Intelligence Committee wrote a report that was sent to the House Judiciary Committee, which held its own hearings. Pelosi and House Democrats announced the articles of impeachment against Trump on Dec. 10. The Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Stay informed: Read the latest reporting and analysis on impeachment here.
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