Behind the scenes, House Democrats battle to influence Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s picks for the team that will take the case to the Senate.
WASHINGTON — In furtive conversations with senior colleagues on the House floor, with their own aides and in private conclaves like Wednesday’s weekly Congressional Black Caucus luncheon, Democratic lawmakers have been quietly trying to game out how to become one of the “managers” who will prosecute the case in the Senate if the House impeaches President Donald Trump.
“There are a lot of discussions going on and rumors,” Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the CBC, said after the panel’s impeachment meeting Wednesday night. “I’m told that my name is on the list [for consideration], but I have not actively sought to be one of the floor managers. … If the speaker would like for me to do that, I would be happy to do it.”
The allure of being named to a select group for a historic mission — no matter the cautionary tale provided by the last Senate trial of a president — is as self-evident as most lawmakers’ desire to carve out a personal legacy, get more airtime on television and raise more campaign money.
At the same time, it’s a complicated task for the politically ambitious because the picks will be made solely at the discretion of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and many House members presume that it could be disqualifying to lobby too hard — especially publicly — for posts that require the utmost solemnity.