The impeachment of President Trump has been anything but conventional. Although he’s one of only three U.S. presidents to ever actually be impeached in the House of Representatives, he’s not exactly taking the process seriously. To date, Trump has called his impeachment a “witch hunt,” a hoax, and a joke, and has complained about his lawyers being relegated to deliver his defense on a Saturday — the “Death Valley in TV” as he called it.
So far, Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate has lived up to the bizarreness of his presidency. There’s been milk drinking in the chamber, arguments have gone late into the night (cc: Midnight Mitch McConnell), and Republican moderators refuse to vote for amendments that would introduce witnesses and evidentiary documents into the trial. For many people, the entire impeachment process has been a lesson in how an impeachment process even works.
For instance, just because Trump has been impeached in the House, it doesn’t mean he’s going to be removed from office (which is what the Senate decides). And specific people are in charge of making the case for removal on behalf of the American public.
As the Senate debates Trump's fate on criminal charges, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi selected a group of impeachment managers from the House to oversee the Senate's process. This isn't specific to Trump's impeachment — every impeachment will have house managers. In the Senate process, these managers will make a case for Donald Trump's conviction, arguing against the president's lawyers for the Senate's final vote.
But this particular group of seven is historic: for the first time ever, three of the managers are women: Democratic Reps. Zoe Lofgren of California, Sylvia Garcia of Texas, and Val Demings of Florida. In an interview with NBC News, the women talked about their roles and the overall significance of the trial.
“It seems to me, if there’s not a full, fair trial with witnesses, [Donald Trump] may get an acquittal, but he’s not going to get an exoneration,” Lofgren said. “It’s going to be seen for what it is, just a rubber stamp to get him off the hook.” In case you are wondering who these three powerhouse women are and what they will each bring to the Senate's impeachment proceedings, we're here to tell you.
Lofgren is especially familiar with how impeachments go down. She’s had roles in two previous impeachment inquiries. In 1998, she was on the House Judiciary Committee when it approved articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton. She was also involved with drafting the Watergate charges against President Richard Nixon when she was a young law student in 1974, making her a prime candidate to act as one of the impeachment managers for Trump. "Impeachment is a grave & solemn matter. It is a stress test for our democracy," Lofgren wrote on Twitter. "I hope every Senator is prepared to seriously consider & vote honestly with an open mind for the future of our democracy."
Elected in 2018, Garcia is one of the first two Latina congresswomen from the state of Texas. She is a former lawyer, judge, and member of the Texas senate. For two terms, she was Houston city controller, the second highest elected office in Houston’s city government and its chief financial officer. Garcia now serves on the House Judiciary Committee, and tweeted that she was "honored" to serve as one of the impeachment managers this year. "For me, this is about upholding my oath to office," Garcia wrote. "I take my responsibility seriously because we're working to defend our Constitution at a pivotal moment in our democracy."
Before coming to Congress, Demings spent 27 years working in the Orlando Police Department, where she rose through the ranks to become the department’s first woman police chief. She is currently serving her second term in Congress, representing Florida’s 10th Congressional District. Last July, Demings first came to national attention for expertly questioning former special counsel Robert Mueller when he testified before Congress. She has served on both the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees. Demings is proving to be a vocal force in the impeachment process, with powerful perspectives on enforcing the law throughout. "I am a descendant of slaves, who knew that they would not make it, but dreamed and prayed that one day I would make it," Demings said on Twitter. "My faith is in the Constitution. I've enforced the laws, and now I write the laws. Nobody is above the law."
Who are the other impeachment managers?
Democratic Reps. Jason Crow of Colorado, Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Jerry Nadler of New York, and Adam Schiff of California round out the crew of impeachment managers. Schiff, who is also the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, has been extremely vocal throughout the House and Senate processes. Schiff presented bold opening arguments last week and is attributed as the Democrats unofficial spokesperson through this process.
Undoubtedly, this group brings the necessary experience to take on one of the toughest jobs out there: trying to get Midnight Mitch to agree to a fair trial — complete with actual evidence and witnesses. It’s a daunting task, but someone’s gotta do it.