Pelosi appoints House impeachment administrators ahead of vote

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) On Tuesday appointed nine impeachment « managers » ahead of Wednesday’s vote to remove President Donald Trump from office.

The managers, all attorneys, would present the House case for impeachment during a Senate trial. Pelosi did not indicate when the House will send the impeachment article to the Senate.

« Tonight, I have the solemn privilege of appointing the managers of Donald Trump’s impeachment, » Pelosi said in a statement.

Pelosi appointed Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) As the lead impeachment manager. Democrats Diana DeGette (Colo.), David Cicilline (RI), 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 your constitutional and patriotic duty to present the case for impeachment and removal of the president. They will do so out of their great love for the homeland, determination to protect our democracy and loyalty to our oath to the Constitution, ”Pelosi said. « Our managers will fulfill their duty to defend democracy for the people with great solemnity, prayer and urgency. »

The House of Representatives first issued a resolution impeaching Trump on January 11. charging him with « incitement to insurrection » for the violation of the United States Capitol building on January 6.

« In all this, President Trump seriously endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government, » the resolution states. “It threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and endangered an egalitarian branch of government. In doing so, he betrayed his trust as president, to the manifest offense of the people of the United States.

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One in Washington on January 12, 2021 (Drew Angerer / .).

The document criticizes Trump for « reiterat[ing] false claims that ‘we won this election and we won it by an overwhelming majority’ ”, and accuses him of“ intentionally [making] statements that, in context, encouraged, and predictably resulted in, illegal actions on Capitol Hill.

The statements to which they attribute their incitement to violence are vague.

The resolution mentions one: « If you don’t fight like hell, you won’t have a country anymore. »

The president, during his speech on January 6, asked the protesters to keep peace. A video posted by Trump last week included convictions against the violence and rape of the Capitol.

It is unclear who instigated the building breach. Video from the event shows a leftist activist encouraging and convincing Capitol Police to let intruders pass at various points.

« I am honored to be part of a team of extremely distinguished attorneys and representatives, » Raskin said. « We have a tremendous responsibility on our shoulders right now. »

Vice President Mike Pence said in a letter to Pelosi on Tuesday that he will not invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office, saying it would set a « terrible precedent » and that he does not believe it is in the best interest of the nation or in accordance with the Constitution.

The 25th Amendment, adopted in 1967, states that if a sitting vice president and the majority of the cabinet agree that the president is not fit to serve, the president can be removed from office and the vice president can assume the presidency.

“As you well know, Amendment 25 was designed to address presidential incapacity or disability,” Pence wrote in his letter, then added: “Under our Constitution, Amendment 25 is not a means of punishment or usurpation. Invoking the 25th Amendment in this way would set a terrible precedent. « 

Pence said the Trump Administration’s energy is now « directed toward ensuring an orderly transition. »

Mimi Nguyen Ly and Jack Phillips contributed to this report.