Skip to comments.GOP lawmakers jockey for positions as managers
Posted on 12/14/2019 3:42:01 PM PST by jazusamo
A number of House GOP lawmakers are quietly expressing interest in being selected to join President Trumps impeachment defense team as Republicans brace for proceedings to move to the upper chamber.
The president wants a combination of lawyers and three to four vocal defenders in the House GOP to be on his legal team, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) recently said on the House Freedom Caucus podcast.
The GOP members most often mentioned as potential candidates include Reps. John Ratcliffe (Texas), Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Doug Collins (Ga.).
I don't know the extent of the lobby from Capitol Hill, I think there's a general consensus that there's a small group of members that would be, certainly in the first tier and another group would be in the second tier, one GOP lawmaker told The Hill. Those people in the first tier, obviously, have been the ones who have been more engaged in this process from the beginning. Certainly, Jim Jordan is one of those.
The jockeying on the GOP side comes as Democrats compete for jobs as impeachment managers, who will essentially serve as prosecutors during the Senate trial.
Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said the minority party has not traditionally played a large role during impeachment trials.
The president actually picks his personal attorneys and typically, historically it's not members, but thats up to him to decide, he told The Hill.
Trump has not announced any decisions, but many Republicans think hed benefit from having members on his team who have been at the forefront of the House fight.
I think you've seen a lot of our members on the relevant committees do a great job of directly asking Democrat star witnesses, Did you see any crimes? Did you see any bribery? And not one, not one person could say they saw it because it didn't happen, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said on Wednesday. So you get a lot of really good people to choose from.
Jordan, a firebrand conservative who serves as the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, has garnered a reputation for being one of Trumps most aggressive attack dogs on impeachment.
He seems like a near certain pick after House GOP leaders temporarily placed him on the House Intelligence Committee to strengthen their team during that panels hearings.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said the decision on whether House members should be added to the team should left up to the president and his advisers, and floated the idea of bringing on a constitutional lawyer who has argued before the Supreme Court as something he sees as a potentially good option.
He praised both Jordan and Ratcliffe for the knowledge of the case and the impact they've made while fighting back against the allegations levied against the president in the House, telling reporters that "there are a number of people that I think they can rely on for information."
"The Senate is a different body than the House I think Jim Jordan has done an amazing job here, McCarthy said at a press conference Thursday, adding that he believes Ratcliffe, who previously served as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, has a "good understanding" of the situation with both members holding knowledge that could be valuable for the defense. Ratcliffe, who was tapped by the president earlier this year to become the director of national intelligence by Trump before he withdrew from consideration, is also seen as being on the Trump shortlist.
His questioning during the impeachment hearings received broad praise within the GOP, with his colleagues stating he played a key role in their efforts to dismantle Democrats accusation that the presidents dealings with Ukraine were unlawful.
Ratcliffe said he has not yet been approached by anyone at the White House on the matter.
I mean Ive seen my name in there as someone that might be considered and it's flattering, but if there's any basis for it no one's filled me in on it, he told The Hill on Thursday.
You know the president surrounded by smart people that will make smart decisions, he ought to do what's best for him to win a legal case against him that's unfair and unjust and he shouldn't be worried about optics or feelings or, you know, anything other than getting himself surrounded by the right legal team.
Collins a top Trump confidant who has been one of the most vocal critics of the impeachment process is also seen as a prime candidate.
The Georgia Republican has been a key player in defending the president in the lower chamber.
As the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, he engaged in multiple fiery exchanges with Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) during the panels hearing and mark up on the two articles of impeachment. He has also regularly appeared on the cable news circuit to battle with Democrats.
One senior Republican said rank-and-file members on the Judiciary Committee like Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), a constitutional lawyer, are interested in taking on roles on Trumps team, while another source said the ranking members of the relevant impeachment committees should be under consideration.
The good news is we have a very deep bench and we have a lot of people who would be very capable, and can handle it very well, another GOP lawmaker said.
In addition to the discussion of House members joining the team, it is anticipated that White House counsel Pat Cipollone will play a large rule in arguing the presidents case during the Senate trial.
Jay Sekulow, one of Trumps personal lawyers, has been named as a strong contender to join the defense team. The White House is reportedly considering adding famed lawyer and Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz who is known for his previous work as an appellate adviser for O.J. Simpson's defense to the team and joined Harvey Weinstein's legal defense team earlier this year in what could be a controversial move due to recent allegations that he sexually assaulted a victim of sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
Dershowitz strongly denies the accusations, which he cited as the reason he was not called to be one of the constitutional scholars that testified during the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearing held earlier this month.
The two articles of impeachment, one that pertains to abuse of power and the other charging the president with obstruction of Congress are expected to pass along party lines on the floor next week.
Derchowiz as the attorney. Liberal heads explode.
The other 3 from the House - they did a great job!
Oops. Wrong spelling...
We all know who you mean and you’re right, RAT head would explode. :^)
Need Nunez in there.
Nunes is a great Trump loyalist, but he’s not a lawyer — and I think they need lawyers here, not politicians.
True enough, but he has the goods.
Lets Wrap This FReepathon Up, Folks Donate Today!
“bringing on a constitutional lawyer who has argued before the Supreme Court “
Sounds like a job for Mark Levin!
Also heard Trey Gowdy’s name bantered about. He was a very strong prosecutor while in South Carolina and a pretty decent questioner in Committee. I wonder if his Hillary baggage will taint him?
He has seen all the classified material too.
Yes, he has a quick mind, I’d be happy with him on the team.
Nunes, Jordan, Ratcliffe and Collins would be a murders row for lying slime ball Democrat and DS witnesses.
Ratcliffe did a good job. Jordan. They should definitely be on the team.
Let Gaetz be the PR mouthpiece.
Nadler had to be nudged by the staffer (turned witness then back to staffer) with a wink to gavel down Gaetz.
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