House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday named nine House impeachment “managers” ahead of a Wednesday vote to remove President Donald Trump from office.
The managers, all lawyers, would present the House’s case for impeachment during a Senate trial. Pelosi did not state when the House will send the article of impeachment to the Senate.
“Tonight, I have the solemn privilege of naming the Managers of the impeachment trial of Donald Trump,” Pelosi said in a statement.
Pelosi named Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) as the lead impeachment manger. Democratic Reps. Diana DeGette (Colo.), David Cicilline (R.I.), Joaquin Castro (Texas), Eric Swalwell (Calif.), Ted Lieu (Calif.), Joe Neguse (Colo.), Madeleine Dean (Pa.) and Del. Stacey Plaskett (Virgin Islands) are named as the other impeachment managers.
“It is their constitutional and patriotic duty to present the case for the President’s impeachment and removal. They will do so guided by their great love of country, determination to protect our democracy and loyalty to our oath to the Constitution,” Pelosi said. “Our Managers will honor their duty to defend democracy For The People with great solemnity, prayerfulness and urgency.”
The House of Representatives first released a resolution to impeach Trump on Jan. 11, charging him with “incitement of insurrection,” over the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol building.
“In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” the resolution states. “He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.”
The document criticized Trump for “reiterat[ing] false claims that ‘we won this election, and we won it by a landslide,’” and accuses him of “willfully [making] statements that, in context, encouraged – and foreseeably resulted in – lawless action at the Capitol.”
The statements to which they attribute his inciting violence are vague.
The resolution mentions one: “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
The president, during his Jan. 6 speech, called on the protesters to remain peaceful. A video released later last week from Trump included condemnations against the violence and Capitol breach.
It is unclear who instigated the breach of the building. A video of the event shows a left-wing activist encouraging and convincing Capitol police to let trespassers through at several points.
“I’m honored to be on a team with extremely distinguished lawyers and representatives,” Raskin said. “We have a tremendous responsibility on our shoulders right now.”
Vice President Mike Pence said in a letter to Pelosi Tuesday that he will not invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office, saying that it would set a “terrible precedent” and that he doesn’t believe it is in the best interest of the nation or consistent with the Constitution.
The 25th Amendment, adopted in 1967, states that if a sitting vice president and a cabinet majority agree that the president is not fit to perform his duties, the president can be removed and the vice president can take over the presidency.
“As you know full well, the 25th Amendment was designed to address Presidential incapacity or disability,” Pence wrote in his letter, later adding, “Under our Constitution, the 25th Amendment is not a means of punishment or usurpation. Invoking the 25th Amendment in such a manner would set a terrible precedent.”
Pence said that the Trump Administration’s energy is now “directed to ensuring an orderly transition.”
Mimi Nguyen Ly and Jack Phillips contributed to this report.