Joining Schiff and Nadler are Reps. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), Val Demings (D-Fla.), Sylvia Garcia (D-Tex.), Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.).
The seven-member team is smaller than the 13-member squad that presented articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton to the Senate in 1999, reflecting a more tightly controlled approach to the investigation.
“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 said Wednesday as she introduced the team.
In one sign of the highly choreographed process, Garcia said she learned only Tuesday that she would be named a manager. The team met as a group for the first time moments before the news conference Wednesday, said two Democrats familiar with the selection process but not authorized to discuss it publicly.
There is no doubt who is first among equals: Schiff, 59, has been the unquestioned leader of the congressional investigation of Trump's alleged scheme to coerce the Ukrainian government into investigating his political rivals by withholding nearly $400 million in military aid.
The House Intelligence Committee was joined by three other panels in conducting the probe, but it was Schiff — a former federal prosecutor who is among Pelosi's most trusted colleagues — who directed the effort from the start.
“You do need leadership, somebody who’s going to coordinate,” said Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), who served 12 years on the Intelligence Committee. “Adam conducted the investigation, he oversaw it, and he did a lot of questioning and the cross-examination.”
Nadler, 72, headed the second phase of the House impeachment inquiry, laying the constitutional foundation for the adoption of the two articles — alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — and shepherding them to the House floor.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Nadler cited an “overwhelming case” for Trump's removal but also said it was incumbent on the Senate to call additional witnesses — deeming it a “test of the Constitution.”
“The American people know that in a trial you permit witnesses, you present the evidence,” he said. “The Senate is on trial as well as the president: Does the Senate conduct a trial according to the Constitution to vindicate the republic? Or does the Senate participate in the president’s crimes by covering them up?”
Addressing reporters, Schiff indicated he would continue to push the GOP-led Senate to call additional witnesses and seek documents that the Trump administration refused to provide to the House, and he defended Democrats’ decision not to wait for a federal court to mediate the inter-branch dispute.
“Yes, we could have waited years to get testimony, further testimony from all the people the president has been obstructing,” Schiff said. “But essentially, that would completely negate the impeachment power — that is, allow the president, by virtue of obstruction, to prevent his own impeachment.”
“Unless the president is willing to concede everything the House has alleged,” he added, “these witnesses are very pertinent and relevant.”
The House voted Wednesday to formally name the managers and send the two articles to the Senate. After the vote, Pelosi held a formal ceremony to sign and “engross” the articles for transmission across the Capitol, followed by a procession of the managers to the Senate door.
Contrary to much of the speculation that had swirled ahead of the announcement, aside from Schiff, only one other manager is a member of the Intelligence Committee — Demings, who belongs to both the Intelligence and Judiciary panels. And while many Democrats expected Pelosi to assemble a vast team to involve lawmakers across the divides of her caucus, she instead opted to keep the team limited to seven.
“We could have come up with 30 people,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.). “ But I think the smaller, probably, the less unwieldy it is.”
All seven managers have professional backgrounds in the law. Demings, 62, is the only non-lawyer, but she is steeped in law enforcement, having served as the first female chief of the Orlando Police Department. Garcia, 69, one of two freshmen on the managers’ team, is a former state senator and longtime municipal judge in Houston.
Garcia said she learned only recently that she was under consideration to become a manager. Pelosi, she said, “chose us because of what we bring to the table.”
“I’m patient, I’m a good listener, I know the law, and I know people,” she said. “For me, it’s really going to be about focusing on the Constitution and making sure we have a fair trial, not a fake trial.”
Lofgren, 72, is participating in her third impeachment. She worked as a congressional staffer during the 1974 impeachment proceedings against President Richard M. Nixon and served on the Judiciary Committee during the 1998 proceedings against Clinton. While she is best known on Capitol Hill for her immigration expertise, Lofgren also has broad experience in constitutional matters and is a trusted Pelosi ally.
Jeffries, 49, has emerged as one of his party’s chief messengers as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. But before embarking on his congressional career, Jeffries worked as a corporate litigator in New York and has long served on the Judiciary Committee. There he worked closely with Republicans — and Trump son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner — to advance a major criminal justice reform bill in 2018.
Crow, 40, is the only manager who did not serve on any of the investigating committees, but he has national security credentials as a former Army Rangers officer and member of the House Armed Services Committee. He also practiced law before his 2018 election to Congress and was a key member of a group of seven freshmen who spoke up at a critical juncture in September to support the launching of an impeachment inquiry.
Despite his lack of direct participation in the Ukraine probe, Crow said he would be ready to present the case for Trump’s removal. “I will approach this with the seriousness and diligence that’s required to make sure that we’re doing this in the right way,” he said in brief remarks to reporters.
Diversity was also a consideration in selecting the team, aides said in the weeks leading up to the announcement. Three of the seven are women. Demings and Jeffries are African American; Garcia is Latina. Garcia and Crow — besides representing a historic freshman class — also bring geographic diversity to a group otherwise drawn from coastal states.
The selection of the managers came after weeks of delay in which Pelosi said she wanted to “see the arena” in which the House would be presenting its case — that is, whether the GOP-controlled Senate would agree at the outset to call additional witnesses such as former national security adviser John Bolton or accept new evidence that emerged after the House adopted the impeachment articles.
Rep. Daniel Kildee (D-Mich.), a close Pelosi ally, said the speaker looked to choose members with specific skills. “You’ve got seven people, each of whom contribute something,” he said. “It’s not done for show. It’s done for making the case.”
Among the lawmakers Pelosi passed over are some of the House’s most aggressive advocates for impeachment — including some with legal backgrounds, such as Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), an Intelligence Committee member who worked as a state prosecutor, and Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.), a Judiciary Committee member who was a constitutional law professor at American University in Washington.
Nor did Pelosi choose Rep. Justin Amash, a Michigan independent and former Republican who some observers suggested could help make the case for removal a less partisan one.
“I believe that they bring to this case in the United States Senate great patriotism, great respect for the Constitution of the United States, great comfort level in a courtroom,” Pelosi said of her chosen managers. “I wish them well. It’s going to be a very big commitment of time, and I don’t think we could be better served.”