Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday named two Colorado Democrats — U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette and Joe Neguse — to the nine-member team that will prosecute President Donald Trump's anticipated second impeachment trial in the Senate on charges he incited last week's deadly Capitol riot.
The team of "managers" will be led by Maryland's U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, the former constitutional law professor who has steered efforts to remove the president from office.
Lawmakers met late into the night to debate a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare Trump unable to complete his term, which ends on Jan. 20, though Pence said before the debate began that he wouldn't do so.
The House is set to vote Wednesday on an article of impeachment saying Trump incited an attack on the federal government by egging on a mob of supporters to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden's election victory.
“Tonight, I have the solemn privilege of naming the Managers of the impeachment trial of Donald Trump,” Pelosi said in a written statement. “It is their constitutional and patriotic duty to present the case for the President’s impeachment and removal. They will do so guided by their great love of country, determination to protect our democracy and loyalty to our oath to the Constitution. Our Managers will honor their duty to defend democracy For The People with great solemnity, prayerfulness and urgency.”
DeGette, a Denver attorney serving her 13th term, and Neguse, a Lafayette attorney serving his second term, played key roles the first time the House impeached Trump, a year ago.
DeGette presided over the House for the 11 hours of debate that preceded the vote to impeach Trump in December 2019, and Neguse was among the House Judiciary Committee members who considered and argued in support of the articles.
In a statement, DeGette said she was honored to serve as an impeachment manager to "help defend our Democracy during this critical moment in our nation’s history."
Said DeGette: "There is no doubt that through his actions in recent weeks, President Trump is now one of the single greatest threats to the safety and security of our nation. It’s important, for the sake of our Democracy and the future health of our nation, that he be held fully responsible for his crimes. He should be removed from office immediately and I look forward to doing my part to ensure that happens as soon as possible.”
Calling last week's riot "an attack on our American government, on our democracy and a very present threat to the peaceful transfer of power," Neguse said it was his "humble honor" to serve as an impeachment manager.
"It is profoundly clear this violent attack would not have happened without President Trump’s incitement," Neguse said in a statement. "For weeks, he has perpetuated harmful misinformation about the integrity of election results, he summoned these insurrectionists to the Capitol grounds, he addressed them and directed them to march on the Capitol.
"The President has betrayed his oath of office, and he is no longer fit to serve. His removal is of the highest urgency. Impeachment is a solemn duty, and one I don’t take lightly. Yet, at our present moment, it is our only option."
Other members include David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Joaquin Castro of Texas, Eric Swalwell and Ted Lieu, both of California, Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania and Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands.
While House Democrats say they have the votes to pass the article — including support from some of the chamber's high-profile Republicans, including Wyoming's Liz Cheney, who ranks No. 3 in GOP leadership — it's unknown whether the House will deliver the impeachment article to the Senate right away or wait until after Biden's inauguration.
Colorado's U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, an Aurora attorney, was among seven impeachment managers who made a case to remove Trump from office in 2020, when the House impeached Trump on allegations he abused his power by pressuring the Ukranian president to dig up dirt on Biden. The Republican-controlled Senate voted almost entirely on party lines to acquit Trump on those charges.