US Democrats reveal seven-member team for Trump trial
The trial is likely to start in earnest next week, with Donald Trump deriding it as a ‘con’, knowing he has the support of the Republican-led Senate
Washington — On Wednesday, Democrats in the US House of Representatives unveiled a seven-member team to prosecute President Donald Trump at his impeachment trial in the Senate, headed by a former prosecutor who has become a nemesis of the Republican president.
After weeks of delay, the House is expected to send the two impeachment charges passed last month against Trump to the Senate, clearing the way for the trial that will determine whether he is removed from office to start in earnest next week.
The weeks-long trial in the Senate — controlled by Trump’s fellow Republicans — is expected to ultimately end in his acquittal, leaving him in office. However, it will focus attention on Trump’s request that Ukraine investigate domestic political rival Joe Biden, as the 2020 presidential campaign heats up.
Adam Schiff, the House intelligence committee chair, will lead the House “managers” who will put the case to senators that Trump should be ousted for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Biden and obstructing Congress.
Schiff spearheaded the House impeachment investigation into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and is a frequent target of Trump attacks. The president called Schiff, a former federal prosecutor, “a deranged human being” at a Nato meeting in Britain in December.
Other managers include Jerrold Nadler, who crafted the two articles of impeachment against Trump, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, as House judiciary committee chair.
Other House managers include Representatives Zoe Lofgren, chair of the house administration committee; Hakeem Jeffries, head of the House democratic caucus; intelligence committee member Val Demings; armed services committee member Jason Crow; and judiciary committee member Sylvia Garcia.
Pelosi again pushed for witnesses and documentation to be allowed in the Senate trial after they were blocked by the Trump administration.
Trump derided his impeachment as a “con” on Wednesday as Democrat leaders announced the team. “Here we go again, another Con Job by the Do Nothing Democrats,” Trump tweeted seconds after Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, unveiled the trial team.
Pelosi said the prosecutors were selected for their ability to make an effective case. “The emphasis is on litigators. The emphasis is on comfort level in the courtroom. The emphasis is making the strongest possible case to protect and defend our constitution, to seek the truth for the American people,” she told a news conference.
Biden is one of 12 candidates vying for the Democrat nomination to face Trump in the November 3 election, and the trial might still be underway when Iowa and New Hampshire hold their first party nominating contests in early February.
Not one of the Senate’s 53 Republicans has voiced support for ousting Trump, a step that would require a two-thirds majority in the 100-member chamber.