House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday announced the seven lawmakers who will serve as the House managers to prosecute the case against President Trump in his Senate impeachment trial, which is expected to begin early next week.
“I am proud to present the managers who will bring the case which we have great confidence in impeaching the president for his removal,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said Wednesday. “The emphasis is on litigators.”
The House managers include House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who will be the lead manager and who led much of the impeachment inquiry out of his committee and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., whose panel drafted the articles of impeachment.
Pelosi also tapped House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.; Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo.; Val Demings, D-Fla.; Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas; and Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.
Many of the managers were chosen because of their backgrounds: Lofgren has been involved in three presidential impeachment proceedings: as a Judiciary Committee staffer during former President Richard Nixon’s and former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, and now as a manager.
During then-President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1999, there were 13 House impeachment managers.
Announcing the managers, Pelosi argued the charges against the president will be a stain on his legacy, dramatically referring to an “impeachment that will last forever.” She said the House on Wednesday will pass a resolution to appropriate funds for the trial, and transmit the articles — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — to the Senate.
“This is a very serious matter and we take it to heart in a really solemn way,” Pelosi said. “It’s about the Constitution, it’s about the republic if we can keep it and [senators] shouldn’t be frivolous with the Constitution of the United States even though the president of the United States has.”
She added: “The president is not above the law. He will be held accountable. He already has been held accountable. He has been impeached and you can never erase that.”
Trump hit back in a tweet after the announcement: “Here we go again, another Con Job by the Do Nothing Democrats. All of this work was supposed to be done by the House, not the Senate!”
Pelosi defended her strategy to delay in sending the articles to the upper chamber, saying that “time has been our friend in all of this because it has yielded incriminating evidence.”
Meanwhile, a White House official told Fox News on Tuesday that the president’s legal defense team in the looming impeachment trial would be led by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone. The official said that Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow would also serve on the president’s defense, as well as Cipollone deputies Michael Purpura and Patrick Philbin.
The official told Fox News that other attorneys could cycle through or be on the floor in a support capacity, but that those details and types of decisions will be made by the president if and when he deems necessary.
After several days of procedural moves, the Senate is poised to launch into the heart of the impeachment trial as early as next Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., shot down the notion being floated by the president earlier this week to bypass a trial and dismiss the articles altogether.
Pelosi’s announcement comes as the lower chamber is preparing to vote Wednesday to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate. They are doing so without assurances from McConnell that he’ll allow for witnesses and documents in the trial — despite Democrats holding up the process for the past month in pursuit of such a commitment.