Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 7-Member Impeachment Hit Squad Includes Hakeem Jeffries and Val Demings

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) (C) announces the appointment of (L-R) Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) as managers of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol January 15, 2020, in Washington, DC.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla (Getty Images)

On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the seven House members who will prosecute President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, and while the usual names are there (we see you, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.)), we also see black members Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.).

Pelosi also announced that Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), Jason Crow (D-Colo.) and Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas) will round out the bunch, but who are we kidding: We’re super excited about Jeffries and Demings, and not just because they’re black.

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For those of y’all that don’t know, “Val” Demings’ full name is Valdez Venita Demings and you don’t fuck with a woman named “Valdez Venita.” A woman named Valdez Venita has straightened the back of her hair with a hot comb—by herself! Valdez Venita once saw “your fuck shit” driving her way and left the road because she’s not here for your fuck shit. Valdez Venita was not only the chief of the Orlando Police Department, but she was the first woman to hold that position.

It was Valdez Venita that tweeted out in December: “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. So despite America’s complicated history, my faith is in the Constitution. I’ve enforced the laws, and now I write the laws. Nobody is above the law.”

Come through, Valdez Venita!

Then there is Hakeem Jeffries, who, along with former NBA player Matt Barnes, is doing all the heavy lifting to undo the problems that Drake has created for light-skinned men. Once Jeffries was lost in the woods, which were heavily populated by bears. When helicopters located the area they believed to have been where Jeffries might be, they found an SOS message written by Jeffries and it read: “Send help...for these bears!”

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Seriously, if you’ve never seen Jeffries in action, watch him destroy Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker during a Judiciary Committee hearing. It’s really a work of art.

OK, now that we’ve talked about why we should care, let’s get back to what’s actually happening with the Senate impeachment trial and why Pelosi picked this seven-member gang to bring to the proceedings.

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“The emphasis is on litigation. The emphasis is on comfort level in the courtroom,” Pelosi said.

From the Los Angeles Times:

The so-called House managers, will give opening and closing statements, lay out the facts collected in the House investigation, and will cross-examine witnesses if they are allowed.

Pelosi was said to be aiming for a more diverse group than the 13 white men who acted as House managers during the Clinton impeachment trial in 1999.

It’s a role that can make or break careers, and there was lobbying behind the scenes as members jostled for one of the plum positions. Pelosi got to decide how many managers to choose. After the Clinton trial, some of the Republican House managers faced a backlash; at least one lost his reelection bid—in an odd twist of fate, he lost to Schiff.

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Once the House approves Pelosi’s gang of seven, the articles of impeachment will be formally brought by the “managers” (as the seven are called) to the Senate.

“President Trump has done nothing wrong. He looks forward to having the due process rights in the Senate that Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats denied to him, and expects to be fully exonerated,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, who has become the first press secretary to mime her answers since she doesn’t speak to the press, said the Times reports.

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Who are we kidding; the Republicans control the Senate. It will take 67 votes to remove Trump from office and the Democrats don’t have that. Assuming that Jeffries and Demings get the chance to question witnesses, this will be fun, but make no mistake about it, Trump will most likely be acquitted.

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About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.