House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces impeachment managers for Trumps Senate trial – Business Insider
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday announced the impeachment managers designated to lead the prosecution against President Donald Trump in his Senate trial.
The following lawmakers will be impeachment managers: Rep. Adam Schiff of California, Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado, Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, Rep. Val Demings of Florida, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, and Rep. Sylvia Garcia of Texas.
Pelosi’s announcement came one day after the House Intelligence Committee released explosive new documents that dramatically raise the stakes of Trump’s trial.
It also came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he believed several Republican senators would join Democrats in calling for witnesses in the trial.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday announced the impeachment managers designated to lead the prosecution in President Donald Trump’s trial in the Senate.
During a Wednesday news conference, Pelosi named the following lawmakers as impeachment managers:
Rep. Adam Schiff of California
Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York
Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California
Rep. Val Demings of Florida
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York
Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado
Rep. Sylvia Garcia of Texas
“As you can see from these descriptions, the emphasis is on litigators,” Pelosi said after announcing the managers, also citing “comfort in the courtroom.”
“I’m very proud and honored that these seven members have accepted this very serious responsibility,” the House speaker added.
Impeachment managers present the case against an impeached official — in this case Trump — to the Senate.
After the House selects managers, it adopts a resolution notifying the Senate of its actions. After that, the Senate notifies the House it is ready to receive the managers. The House impeachment managers then appear before the Senate and present the articles of impeachment. After reading the charges, they return to the House and make an oral report.
Pelosi’s announcement precedes a vote expected later Wednesday to transmit the two articles of impeachment against Trump to the Senate, triggering a trial.
The House of Representatives voted last month to impeach Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Both charges are related to his efforts to strong-arm Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 US election by delivering political dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and Biden’s son Hunter as well as other Democrats.
The catalyst for the impeachment inquiry was an anonymous whistleblower complaint filed by a US intelligence official in August. The complaint detailed a July 25 phone call between Trump and the newly inaugurated Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky.
The complaint alleged that Trump repeatedly asked Zelensky during the phone call to investigate the Bidens related to Hunter Biden’s employment on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural-gas company that has been accused of corruption. Trump also pressured Zelensky to investigate a bogus conspiracy theory suggesting Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election to help Democrats.
No evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens has emerged.
A White House summary of the phone call, as well as Trump’s own public statements, later confirmed the details of complaint.
Subsequent witness testimony in the impeachment inquiry revealed that the phone call was just one data point in a monthslong pressure campaign by Trump and his allies in Ukraine. Witnesses also testified that senior White House and State Department officials were involved in burying details of the phone call after White House lawyers determined that the president might have violated the law by asking a foreign country to dip its toes into domestic political affairs.
Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, testified that “everyone,” including officials at the most senior levels of the executive branch, was in the loop as it related to Trump’s efforts and that Rudy Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, was the president’s point man in Ukraine.
Explosive new evidence against Trump raises the stakes of Senate trial
On Tuesday evening, the House Intelligence Committee released new documents showing the extent to which Giuliani and one of his Ukrainian associates, Lev Parnas, went to carry out Trump’s directives in Ukraine.
The release came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated to reporters that several Republican senators might join Democrats in calling for witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial.
The documents, which were turned over by Parnas, included excerpts from text messages between Parnas and Giuliani as well as other Ukrainian figures involved in the controversy like the former top prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko and an American, Robert F. Hyde.
In one handwritten note from Parnas in which he detailed his responsibilities, he wrote that he had to get Zelensky “to announce that the Biden case will be investigated.”
The texts, meanwhile, revealed that Parnas and his associates kept Marie Yovanovitch, then the US ambassador to Ukraine, under close surveillance while she served in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
Yovanovitch was abruptly recalled from her position last May after what she and others characterized as a smear campaign against her by Giuliani and Trump that was aided by Lutsenko, whom Yovanovitch had sharply criticized.
Giuliani has also publicly said he felt he needed Yovanovitch “out of the way” because she was an obstacle in his path to getting the president the political dirt he wanted against his rivals.
Yovanovitch similarly testified that she believed she was removed because she refused to help Giuliani carry out his pressure campaign on Trump’s behalf.
In one exchange with Parnas about Yovanovitch, Lutsenko wrote: “And here you can’t even get rid of one [female] fool.”
Parnas replied: “She’s not a simple fool, trust me. But she’s not getting away.”
In another March text exchange, Parnas communicated with his associate, Robert F. Hyde, about tweets and videos accusing Yovanovitch of being anti-Trump.
Hyde wrote (misspelling Trump): “Wow. Can’t believe Trumo hasn’t fired this bitch. I’ll get right in that.”
Hyde later sent several texts suggesting he was surveilling Yovanovitch in Ukraine, adding, “They are willing to help if we/you would like a price.”
Afterward, Hyde wrote, “Guess you can do anything in the Ukraine with money.”
In another text message, Hyde told Parnas on March 27, “It’s confirmed we have a person inside.”
Previously unseen letter from Giuliani destroys Trump’s defense
One particularly damning document was a letter from Giuliani to Zelensky dated May 10. In it, the former New York mayor told Zelensky, then Ukraine’s president-elect, that he wanted to meet in person on May 13 and May 14.
“Just to be precise, I represent him as a private citizen, not as President of the United States,” Giuliani wrote. “This is quite common under American law because the duties and privileges of a President and a private citizen are not the same.”
One day before Giuliani wrote the letter, The New York Times reported that he wanted to meet with Ukrainian officials to discuss former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Specifically, he wanted the Ukrainian government to investigate Hunter Biden’s involvement as a board member of Burisma.
“We’re not meddling in an election, we’re meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do,” Giuliani told The Times when asked whether by going to Ukraine and pressing for the inquiry, he was inviting foreign interference in the 2020 election.
Trump and Giuliani’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into delivering dirt on the Bidens and Burisma make up the center of Congress’ impeachment proceedings against Trump.
The president has said his request for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens was linked to an interest in rooting out corruption, which is in the US’s national interest.
But Giuliani’s newly revealed letter directly undercuts that, as it specifies that he was acting in his capacity as Trump’s private attorney; in other words, he was representing the president’s personal political interests and not the country’s interests.