Two high-ranking members of New York’s Congressional delegation will help present the House of Representatives’ case against Donald Trump during the president’s upcoming impeachment trial.
Manhattan-based Congressman Jerry Nadler, who also chairs the House Judiciary Committee, and Brooklyn-based Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, chair of the House Democratic Caucus, were two of the seven managers whom House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed to the impeachment trial team on Wednesday.
Pelosi’s decision came on the same day the House voted to officially transmit the two articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate for the Trial. After the articles were passed last month, the speaker declined to send them to the Senate right away after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would work to ensure Trump would be acquitted of the charges.
The articles of impeachment against Trump — for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — were the result of a House investigation into allegations that the president had pressured Ukraine to launch an inquiry into former Vice President (and current presidential candidate) Joe Biden, using the promise of military aid as leverage.
Trump, during an event at the White House, rejected the charges as a “hoax.” McConnell dismissed the entire proceeding as an example of “naked partisanship.”
Nadler chaired the Judiciary Committee’s proceedings in December which resulted in the approval of both articles of impeachment against Trump; the votes were split along party lines, with Democrats favoring impeachment and Republicans favoring the president.
During a speech on the House floor Wednesday, Nadler repeated calls from Democrats for the Senate to allow witnesses and additional evidence to be presented during the impeachment trial. He pointed out that, to date, Trump “has refused to allow a single document to be turned over to the House in response to our impeachment subpoenas” and blocked key witnesses from taking the stand.
“Above all, a fair trial must include additional documents and relevant witnesses. The American people have common sense,” Nadler stated. “They know that any trial that does not allow witnesses is not a trial. It is a cover-up.”
Michael Hardaway, a spokesperson for Jeffries, reflected the congressman’s appreciation for being included in the impeachment trial.
“Mr. Jeffries is honored to serve as an impeachment manager during this critical time in American history,” Hardaway said. “Along with his colleagues, he will follow the facts, apply the law, be guided by the Constitution and present the truth to the American people.”
McConnell announced the impeachment trial would start Tuesday, Jan. 21. Under the U.S. Constitution, a two-thirds majority in favor of conviction is required to remove a president from office. A conviction is not expected, given that Republicans have a 53-47 majority in the 100-member Senate.
The five other House managers for the Trump impeachment trial (all Democrats) are California Congressman Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee; California Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren; Texas Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia; Florida Congresswoman Val Demings; and Colorado Congressman Jason Crow.
With AP reports