(CBS News) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has revealed thefor President Trump’s upcoming Senate trial, naming the members who will prosecute the case against the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
She announced her selections Wednesday morning:
- House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff
- House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler
- Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren
- Congressman Hakeem Jeffries
- Congresswoman Val Demings
- Congressman Jason Crow
- Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia
As chairmen of the lead committees conducting the impeachment inquiry, Schiff and Nadler are natural choices to argue the case for impeachment in the Senate. Lofgren has experience with three impeachment processes, as a Judiciary Committee staffer during the impeachment inquiry into President Nixon, and a member of Congress during the impeachment of President Clinton. Jeffries is the chairman of the Democratic Caucus in the House.
Demings is a second-term congresswoman from Florida who previously served as a police chief, while Crow and Garcia are freshmen members of Congress. Crow, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, was also a litigator in private practice. Garcia, who is on the Judiciary Committee, was the first woman to be elected to the Harris County Commissioner’s Court.
“There is an overwhelming case without any reasonable doubt that the president betrayed the country,” Nadler said during the conference. “The Senate is on trial as well as the president.”
Pelosi said that the House impeachment managers had experience with litigation, and would therefore be able to successfully prosecute their case.
“It’s always about marking history, using time. On December 18, the House of Representatives impeached the president of the United States, an impeachment that will last forever,” Pelosi said in the conference introducing the managers. “Time has been our friend in all of this because it has yielded incriminating evidence, more truth into the public domain.”
The House is expected to vote on the resolution designating the managers later Wednesday afternoon and then officially deliver the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
Pelosi and the impeachment managers argued to reporters that the delay in transmitting the impeachment articles was an effective tactic, ashave indicated they would like to hear from witnesses in the trial. The announcement of impeachment managers also comes the day after House Democrats from an indicted businessman who helped Rudy Giuliani in his campaign to pressure Ukraine, including previously undisclosed handwritten notes and a letter Giuliani addressed to the Ukrainian president-elect requesting a meeting shortly before his inauguration.
The House voted to impeach Mr. Trump on two articles — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — in December, but Democrats withheld the articles from the Senate in an attempt to motivate Republicans to ensure new evidence will be admitted and witnesses allowed to testify in the trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has largely ignored Democrats’ demands and accused the House of trying to dictate the business of the Senate.
McConnell has called for implementing rules that follow the precedent of the Clinton impeachment trial, where the Senate voted on whether to call witnesses after both sides made their cases.
Nadler, one of the newly minted impeachment managers, told reporters that they were ready for the Senate to potentially call witnesses like Hunter Biden. However, he said that Biden would be an “irrelevant” witness in the trial of whether Mr. Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress.
Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday, McConnell said the Senate will deal with the question of witnesses once the trial gets underway, and noted the president and his legal team would also want to call witnesses of their own.
“We will be dealing with the witness issue at the appropriate time into the trial,” McConnell said. “And I think it’s certainly appropriate to point out that both sides would want to call witnesses that they wanted to hear from.”
McConnell also told reporters Tuesday that he expects Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial to get underway on January 21.