After heading up months of fractious arguments in committee rooms and the House floor, a San Fernando Valley congressman will play a lead role in the coming Senate impeachment trial.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Wednesday that Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, will be one of seven Democratic members of Congress to argue the case for President Trump’s impeachment before the Senate.
Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and lawmaker representing Southern California communities from Hollywood to Pasadena, was thrust into the national spotlight when he became de facto head of the investigation that resulted in the president’s impeachment for pressuring Ukraine to investigate political rival and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Schiff initially pushed for disclosure of the fateful whistle-blower complaint. Since then, his role in the impeachment process has made him a lightning-rod figure for Republican critics who say the California congressman unfairly and inaccurately dramatized the infamous phone call between Mr. Trump and the Ukrainian president.
“I’m humbled by the solemn responsibility of serving as lead House Manager in the Senate impeachment trial,” Schiff, 59, tweeted Wednesday after Pelosi’s announcement. “Together, the Managers will work on behalf of the American people in defense of our Constitution.”
Later Wednesday, the House is scheduled to hold a long-awaited vote to send two the articles of impeachment against Trump that lawmakers approved last month. The Senate trial is scheduled to begin next week.
Of her decision, Pelosi said “The emphasis is on litigators, the emphasis is on comfort level in the courtroom, the emphasis is making the strongest possible case to protect and defend our Constitution, to seek the truth for the American people.”
Pelosi also appointed Reps. Jerry Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Val Demings, Hakeem Jeffries, Sylvia Garcia and Jason Crow as impeachment managers.
Notably, Schiff’s role as impeachment manager echoes efforts earlier in his career when he prosecuted an FBI agent for taking Russian bribes as U.S. Assistant Attorney.
Ten years later in a 2000 election, Schiff unseated congressman Jim Rogan who had just led the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. In an earlier interview at the start of his impeachment inquiry, Schiff said “I do feel like in some ways my life has come full circle.”
Source: Orange County Register