President Trump's impeachment trial is about to begin, and we finally know who will be tasked with making the Democrats' case against the commander in chief. On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the seven congresspeople who will be the impeachment managers, essentially the prosecutors in Trump's impeachment trial.
The tapped lawmakers are Reps. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), Val Demings (Fla.), Jason Crow (Colo.), and Sylvia Garcia (Texas), plus Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y), House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (Calif.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (N.Y.). Schiff will be the lead manager of the case.
Pelosi said she made her choices based on "litigation. The emphasis is on comfort level in the court room,” per the Los Angeles Times. Politico notes that "every one of the impeachment managers has a background in practicing law or law enforcement" — Deming, for example, was the chief of the Orlando Police Department, while Schiff was a federal prosecutor and Lofgren was a House Judiciary Committee staffer during the impeachment of President Richard Nixon and in office during President Bill Clinton's trial.
The White House responded to Pelosi's announcement by calling the trial a "sham, illegitimate process" and saying Trump "expects to be fully exonerated."
The impeachment manager role is difficult — and highly public. These House Democrats will be making oral arguments and presenting the evidence in the impeachment case against Trump, essentially trying to prove the validity of the two articles of impeachment against him and make the case for his conviction and removal. Schiff and Nadler led the Democrats' impeachment inquiry in the House and have been the two most public faces of impeachment aside from Pelosi, but the other lawmakers will now be thrust into the spotlight as well.
Pelosi's stated emphasis on courtroom skills makes sense, as the impeachment managers would also be able to cross-examine witnesses if they are allowed to be called. She additionally said that she sought to compile a more diverse group than the last impeachment trial, when 13 white men prosecuted the Republican case against President Bill Clinton.
After a weeks-long delay, Pelosi will hold a vote later Wednesday to officially transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to be sworn in Thursday to preside over the trial, with senators expected to be administered an oath specific to serving as impeachment jurors Thursday as well. The trial itself is expected to begin in earnest next Tuesday.