Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has been a star player in the House Democrats’ impeachment of President Donald Trump, and it appears likely that he will remain so as impeachment moves from the House to a trial in the Senate.
While the Democrats’ prosecution team has not been announced yet, Schiff, as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and unofficial leader of the impeachment inquiry, is likely to be chosen to lead the team as an impeachment “manager,” Fox News reported.
The Democrat-controlled House passed two articles of impeachment against Trump on Wednesday, but for some inexplicable reason — particularly in light of prior claims of the “urgency” of the matter — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has chosen to sit on the articles over the Christmas break and not transmit them to the Republican-controlled Senate.
Schiff led much of the impeachment inquiry from its inception in the basement of the Capitol building with closed-door depositions to the dramatic public hearings held in his Intelligence Committee.
After Schiff had made the uncompelling case for impeachment, it was handed off for finishing touches to Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who will also most likely be named as part of the managers’ team, according to Politico.
The rest of Schiff’s team
Two other top candidates to lead the team include Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, and Jaime Raskin (D-MD), a constitutional lawyer, both of whom also serve on the Judiciary Committee.
Other potential candidates for the team whose names have been floated include Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA), as well as Reps. Val Demings (D-FL), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), all of whom have been particularly outspoken in making the case for President Trump’s impeachment and have some particular experience or knowledge that could prove useful to Democrats during a trial.
Fox noted that in the most recent impeachment trial from which comparisons can be drawn — the 1999 impeachment of President Bill Clinton — House Republicans named a total of 13 members to serve as managers in the Senate trial.
However, unnamed sources told Fox that Pelosi will most likely not name quite as many managers to the Democrat team as the Republicans had in that case.
Who will be defending Trump?
Meanwhile, it has yet to be made clear who will serve as President Trump’s defense team in the Senate trial, though odds are that White House Counsel Pat Cipollone will play a key role, if not be the lead figure, in that effort.
Other members of the defense team could include other White House attorneys, administration staffers, House Republicans, or even outside personal attorneys brought in directly by the president.
It will likely be at least another week or two before all of the teams are set and the picture becomes clear, but it remains a safe bet at this point to predict that, whatever the final makeup may be, Schiff will be at the forefront of the Democrats’ effort to prosecute and convict President Trump.