As impeachment heads to the Senate, Pa. Dems call for transparency, witnesses; GOP lines up behind Trump

President Donald Trump speaks at a fracking industry conference in Pittsburgh, PA on October 23, 2019. (Capital-Star photo by Stephen Caruso)

WASHINGTON — An Army veteran, a former cop and a congressional aide during the Nixon impeachment proceedings are among the U.S. House Democrats who will soon make the case for ousting President Donald Trump from office. 

The U.S. House on Wednesday approved a resolution that named seven impeachment managers to serve as prosecutors in the upcoming Senate trial against Trump. The resolution also triggers the transmission of the impeachment articles to the Senate. 

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Calif., announced the roster of impeachment managers on Wednesday ahead of the floor vote. 

“Today, I have the privilege of naming the managers of the impeachment trial of the president,” Pelosi said. “It is their responsibility to present the very strong case for the president’s impeachment and removal. The impeachment managers represent the patriotism, pluralism and vibrancy of America.”

The roster includes House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., who have led the House impeachment investigations. Another manager, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.,  was on the Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and she was a committee aide during the Nixon impeachment proceedings in the 1970s. 

The other managers: Reps. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, a former litigator; Val Demings of Florida, a former Orlando police chief; House freshman and former U.S. Army ranger, Jason Crow of Colorado; and Sylvia Garcia of Texas, another freshman and former presiding judge of the Houston Municipal System. 

Pelosi selected fewer House managers than there were during the Clinton impeachment proceedings; there were 13 Republican managers during Clinton’s Senate trial. 

Reaction to the House’s action broke down across partisan lines.

“After attempting to justify a shameful impeachment process by claiming its ‘urgency,’ Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats waited 28 days to transmit the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. Today’s vote in the House reaffirms what we have known from the beginning: House Democrats voted to impeach President Trump simply because they do not like him and disregard the legitimate votes of the Americans who elected him,” freshman U.S. Rep. John Joyce, R-13th District, said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-14th District, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, was equally scornful in a Twitter post.

While Dems were wasting our taxpayers’ time & money on this political circus, [Trump] brought a terrorist to justice, negotiated a trade deal with China, and guided America to the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years. Dems need to follow his lead and get to work,” he wrote.

U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-5th District, and also a member of the  Judiciary Committee, accused Republicans on Twitter of trying to shield Trump.

“The rule of law matters. Republicans can’t simply let the President hide thousands of documents and block witness testimony simply because they are afraid of what they might reveal,” she wrote.

U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans, D-Philadelphia, expressed much the same sentiment in a statement released by his office.

“The country is watching the Senate to see if they will hold a fair trial — with witnesses — or rush to cover up President Trump’s offenses against the country and the Constitution,” Evans said. “Speaker Pelosi and the House took some time before sending the articles of impeachment over to focus attention on having a fair trial, which also allowed for more evidence to come to light.

The Senate trial against Trump is expected to get underway as early as next Tuesday. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., slammed House Democrats Wednesday as the chamber prepared to send the impeachment articles to the upper chamber. 

“Speaker Pelosi and the House have taken our nation down a dangerous road,” McConnell said. “If the Senate blesses this unprecedented and dangerous House process by agreeing that an incomplete case and subjective basis are enough to impeach a president, we will almost guarantee the impeachment of every future president.”