WASHINGTON — The nine Democrats prosecuting the House’s case against former President Donald Trump face the almost impossible task of convincing two-thirds of the Senate to convict Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
They’ll argue that the process is constitutional, since Trump’s offense occurred while he was in office, even though the Senate trial is happening after his term expired. They plan to highlight the former president’s words to his supporters on the day of the riot, as well as his actions in the weeks leading up to the deadly attack.
These impeachment managers, chosen by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, all bring legal experience as well as diversity in age, ethnicity, geography and time in Congress.
Jamie Raskin, Lead Manager
Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, 58, is a Harvard Law School graduate and emeritus professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law. The third-term representative co-wrote the impeachment resolution passed by the House Jan. 13. Raskin is the vice chair of the Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution, and he will help lead the argument to counter Republican objections about the Senate passing judgment on a former president. Raskin represents an area on the outskirts of the District of Columbia, so many of the people working in the Capitol when it was under attack were his constituents. The Jan. 6 riot happened just days after the death of his son, bringing an emotional element to his participation in the prosecution.
David Cicilline, Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees
Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, 59, also helped write the impeachment resolution. Now in his sixth term in Congress, Cicilline is a graduate of Georgetown University Law School who early in his career served as a public defender in Washington. The former two-term mayor of Providence is the chair of the Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law. He is also the chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus and vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He sought a Democratic leadership position in this Congress as assistant speaker, but he was defeated by Katherine Clark of Massachusetts.
Ted Lieu, Judiciary Committee
California Rep. Ted Lieu, 51, was the third co-author of the impeachment resolution. Lieu also graduated from Georgetown University Law School, was an active-duty officer in the U.S. Air Force and served as a prosecutor in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He is now a colonel in the Reserves. Lieu lost a 2010 bid for California state attorney general and is now in his fourth term in Congress. In response to Lieu’s questioning during a July 2019 Judiciary Committee hearing, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller said Trump wasn’t charged with obstruction of justice because Justice Department opinion barred charging a sitting president with a federal crime — not because Trump had been exonerated of wrongdoing.
Eric Swalwell, Judiciary, Intelligence committees
California Rep. Eric Swalwell, 40, is a fifth-term representative who was a frequent television presence during Trump’s first impeachment hearings. His role on the Intelligence Committee and his support for gun control featured prominently in his brief bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. The University of Maryland School of Law graduate served as a prosecutor in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office for seven years. A close Pelosi ally, some were surprised he was not chosen as a manager for Trump’s first impeachment trial. Now as Swalwell joins the prosecution team for this trial, Pelosi has defended him after a report linked him to an alleged Chinese spy, with whom he had cut ties in 2015 after the FBI alerted him of their suspicions. Swalwell has not been charged with wrongdoing.
Joaquin Castro, Intelligence, Foreign Affairs committees
Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro, 46, is the identical twin brother of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro. A Harvard Law School graduate, the fifth-term House member has worked in private law practice and previously served in the Texas Legislature. Castro is also a member of the Intelligence Committee, and he was involved in that panel’s investigations for Trump’s first impeachment. The San Antonio Democrat is also a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and led the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the last Congress.
Diana DeGette, Energy and Commerce Committee
Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, 63, in her 13th term, is the longest-serving member among those assigned to be impeachment managers. A graduate of New York University School of Law, DeGette was a public defender in Colorado before serving two terms in the Colorado House of Representatives. She is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and leads that panel’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. She presided over the House debate for Trump’s first impeachment.
Stacey Plaskett, Ways and Means Committee
U.S. Virgin Islands Delegate Stacey Plaskett, 54, wasn’t able to vote to impeach Trump, since she is a non-voting delegate from a U.S. territory. But she will have the chance to present the case against him as an impeachment manager, bringing her background in law and ethics. The four-term House delegate served as a prosecutor in the Bronx, a staff attorney for the House Ethics Committee and senior counsel at the Justice Department in the George W. Bush administration.
Joe Neguse, Judiciary Committee
Colorado Representative Joe Neguse, 36, was first elected to Congress in 2018. During his first term, Neguse joined Pelosi’s leadership team as co-chair of Democrats’ policy committee. A graduate of University of Colorado Law School, Neguse led Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies before becoming the first African-American member of that state’s congressional delegation. In May 2019, after the release of Mueller’s report, Neguse pushed for Trump’s first impeachment. Neguse is the youngest impeachment manager.
Madeleine Dean, Judiciary Committee
Pennsylvania Rep. Madeleine Dean, 61, is also serving her second term in Congress. She graduated from Delaware Law School of Widener University and entered private practice before becoming an English professor at LaSalle University and then going back to school to study politics. She served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, focusing on gun control and health. She brought her experience on those issues with her to Washington, where she is a member of the House Judiciary panel’s Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
Story by Billy House and Jarrell Dillard.