Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announces impeachment managers for the articles of impeachment against US President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill January 15, 2020, in Washington, DC, next to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler(L)D-NY and Adam Schiff(D-CA), the House Democrat who led the Trump investigation.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images
WASHINGTON — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler will be part of a team of seven impeachment managers at President Donald Trump’s upcoming Senate trial, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Wednesday morning.
The two men, Democrats from California and New York, respectively, will be joined by Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, also of New York, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Calif., Florida congresswoman Val Demings, freshman Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado, and Texas Rep. Sylvia Garcia, also a freshman.
At a press conference on Capitol Hill, Pelosi said that Trump’s impeachment in the House last month “will last forever,” and that more incriminating evidence against the president has come out in the proceeding weeks.
“He’s been impeached forever. They can never erase that,” Pelosi said.
Demings and Crow were surprise additions to the managers team, but both have relevant experience to bring to a Senate trial, as well as representing voter blocs within the Democratic electorate that are crucial to maintaining control of the House.
Demings is a former chief of police for the city of Orlando, the first woman of color to ever hold the position.
Crow is a former U.S. Army Ranger and recipient of the Bronze Star, who served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2018, Crow defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Coffman, becoming the first Democrat ever to win that seat in suburban Denver.
Five of the seven managers are members of the House Judiciary Committee, and two, Schiff and Demings, are members of the Intelligence Committee.
“There is an overwhelming case, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the president betrayed the country by withholding federal funds appropriated by congress, breaking the law in doing so, in order to extort a foreign government into intervening in our election to embarrass a political opponent,” Nadler said at the press conference.
Wednesday’s announcement came just hours before the House is scheduled to vote on a resolution formally transmitting the two impeachment articles against Trump from the House to the Senate. Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate is expected to begin Tuesday, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The job of the impeachment managers in a Senate trial is to lay out the House approved arguments for removing the president from office. The president’s lawyers will argue the opposing point, and the Senate will ultimately vote on whether to remove Trump from office.
In that sense, the task of the impeachment managers resembles that of a prosecutor in a civil trial, although the rules and procedures for an impeachment trial are completely different.
Schiff and Nadler were both widely expected to be among the managers Pelosi named, given their deep knowledge and prior involvement in the House impeachment inquiry this fall. Schiff and the Intelligence Committee led the inquiry, which included public testimony from more than a dozen witnesses.
Nadler, meanwhile, chairs the committee which drafted and approved the two articles of impeachment against the president that were passed by the House in December.
The House resolution to be voted on Wednesday will have three functions: To transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate, designate the House members who will serve as managers of the impeachment trial, and fund the trial itself.
On a practical level, the resolution’s adoption by the House will also trigger a series of carefully choreographed procedural steps between the House and Senate, culminating in a walk across the Capitol by the House impeachment managers, who will be carrying the actual articles of impeachment in their hands.
The managers will then physically deliver the articles to Secretary of the Senate Julie Adams, a career public servant and former McConnell staffer who has held the Senate’s top administrative position since 2015.
The actual delivery of the articles is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, when Pelosi signs the resolution.
The handover will mark the end of a nearly month-long delay in transmitting the documents, which Pelosi orchestrated in an attempt to force concessions out of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Chief among them has been the ability to call witnesses, which Democrats have long demanded as part of any trial they would consider to be a “fair” one.
As of early Wednesday, the issue of witnesses at Trump’s Senate trial remained very much unresolved, following reports that McConnell met with a small group of GOP senators on Tuesday who pitched him on the idea that calling witnesses could work to the president’s advantage, as long as there are no restrictions on exactly who can be summoned.
Some Republicans have considered calling Hunter Biden, as well as the whistleblower whose complaint about Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president helped spark the impeachment inquiry, as witnesses in the Senate trial.
Democrats argued at the presser Wednesday morning that the witnesses called to appear in the Senate trial ought to be relevant to the charges against Trump.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.