House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday announced seven impeachment managers for the Senate trial that will decide President Donald Trump’s fate on the historic impeachment charges against him.
“The House has demonstrated its courage and patriotism,” Pelosi said during a press conference announcing the appointments. “Our managers reflect those values, and will now honor their responsibility to defend democracy For The People with great seriousness, solemnity and moral strength.”
Reportedly animating Pelosi’s choices were concerns over “geographic diversity” which resulted in the selection of four managers from New York and California and three managers from Texas, Colorado and Florida. Some you probably know—others probably not so much. Here are the seven prosecutors making the case against the 45th president:
1. House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Schiff is a 10-term congressman and cable news fixture who rose to prominence in the Democratic Party by promoting the Russiagate storyline immediately after Trump was elected in 2016. Previously little-known, Schiff has made a name for himself as a savvy media operator and effective witness interrogator during various Trump White House scandals leading up to and including the current impeachment saga.
Politically, Schiff is a centrist and devoted hawk. He supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq but has since come to regret his prior stance. In 2015, he was a loud proponent of Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemen and used the opportunity to criticize Iran. Schiff has also promoted a new authorization of military force against the Islamic State and was one of the leading members of his party to call out Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) over her criticism of Israel and pro-Israel lobbyists.
2. House Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
The 15-term New York representative is widely-recognized as one of the most liberal members of the Democratic Party. Nadler opposed expanded domestic surveillance and the extension of the Bush tax cuts—positions that put him at odds with the Obama administration. He initially cast his national profile against the impeachment of Bill Clinton—calling it a “partisan railroad job.”
Nadler set the stage for whatever the Democratic-Party-led equivalent of a clash with the upper chamber might look like minutes after being named to the position of House impeachment manager by striking a combative tone. “The Senate is on trial as well as the President,” he said.
3. House Administration Chair Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Lofgren is an outspoken 13-term congresswoman who was once reprimanded by House Republicans for calling a commissioner of United States Commission on Civil Rights an “ignorant bigot.” After being chided by white nationalist Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Lofgren shrugged off the criticism and said: “I cannot allow that kind of bigotry to go into the record unchallenged.”
A member of various caucuses and former immigration lawyer, Lofgren is considered a committed progressive who has actually had experience with two prior presidential impeachment inquiries. After graduating from university, she worked as a staffer for a congressman on the House Judiciary Committee—which was then in the process of drafting articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon.
4. Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)
Jeffries is a former corporate lawyer who is closely allied with Wall Street despite representing a predominantly working class district in Brooklyn. During his first political campaign, he launched Islamophobic smears against an incumbent New York State Assemblyman but has largely shied away from controversy since losing that race in 2000.
A loyal member of the Democratic leadership, Jeffries was a vocal supporter of Pelosi’s attempts to extract concessions from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “I support the decision of the speaker to hold the articles until we get some clarity,” Jeffries said earlier this month. Once considered a rising star and previously compared to Barack Obama, Jeffries has largely been eclipsed in such discussions by more progressive members like fellow New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. His public appearances are typically marked by their decidedly anodyne statements.
5. Rep. Val Demings (D-FL)
Demings is a two-term incumbent and the former chief of the Orlando Police Department—becoming the first woman to ever lead the organization in 2007. She retired from that position in 2011 for a life in politics and lost one congressional and one mayoral election before finally being elected to the House of Representatives in 2016. Demings is a member of the centrist and pro-corporate New Democrat Coalition.
Seemingly not well known at home—The Palm Beach Post frequently misspells her last name—Demings only recently rose to prominence through her astute questioning of former special counsel Robert Mueller last year when she extracted an admission that several Trump administration witnesses of his were “outright liars.”
6. Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO)
Crow is one of only two freshman legislators assigned the high-profile and arguably high-stakes role of impeachment manager. He was elected as a centrist in 2018 after the Democratic establishment endorsed him against a progressive rival (who was essentially strong-armed out of the race) during a contentious primary campaign. Crow also joined the New Democrat Coalition after taking office.
A former litigator and Army Ranger, Crow co-authored a September 2019 op-ed with six other so-called “national security” freshman Democrats in the Washington Post calling for an impeachment investigation following the Ukraine scandal and arguing that “the inquiry stay focused and proceed efficiently.” Some observers credited that op-ed with breaking the dam on impeachment—which had previously been seen as something of a wishlist item for progressive Democrats.
7. Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX)
Garcia is the second freshman among the impeachment managers. A former judge and long-serving member of the Texas State Senate, she was also one of the two first Latinas elected to Congress from the Lone Star State. Garcia is a member of both the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
No stranger to controversy or politics, Garcia was embroiled in a sexual harassment and wrongful termination controversy on the eve of her election to Congress—she denied those claims. Of her appointment to the impeachment manager position, she said: “I take my responsibility seriously because we’re working to defend our Constitution at a pivotal moment in our democracy.”
[image via Win McNamee/Getty Images]