Lawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing

Lawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing
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Members of a panel that’s been known to go off the rails in the past will be in the spotlight on Wednesday as the House Judiciary Committee takes the stage in the impeachment inquiry.

The 41-member committee includes staunch conservatives and leading liberals, and is a larger and more partisan panel than the House Intelligence Committee, which on Tuesday released the report of its impeachment findings.

The focus on Wednesday is likely to be more on the members of Judiciary than the witnesses — four constitutional experts who are not witnesses to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive Democrats: McConnell impeachment trial rules a 'cover up,' 'national disgrace' MORE’s dealings with Ukraine.

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Here's who to watch during the Judiciary Committee's first hearing.

 

Rep. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerMcConnell locks in schedule for start of impeachment trial Pelosi: Trump's impeachment 'cannot be erased' House to vote Wednesday on sending articles of impeachment to Senate MORE (D-N.Y.)

After being sidelined for more than two months, Nadler is resuming his role at the center of the drive for impeachment. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffWhite House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team Trump knocks authors of 'A Very Stable Genius': 'Two stone cold losers from Amazon WP' Democrats push back on White House impeachment claims, saying Trump believes he is above the law MORE (D-Calif.) was able to fend off GOP interruptions during two weeks of public hearings, and Nadler will be closely watched for how well he prevents the hearings now under his watch from devolving into partisan shouting matches.

Nadler clashed with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWhite House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team House revives agenda after impeachment storm Democrats worry a speedy impeachment trial will shut out public MORE (D-Calif.) for much of the year over moving ahead with impeachment in response to former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE’s report on Russia’s election interference. But they are both now on the same page since the Speaker endorsed launching the inquiry in response to Trump’s efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders apologizes to Biden for supporter's op-ed Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive White House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team MORE and the 2016 election.

It’s not the first impeachment rodeo for Nadler. He was in the House during the impeachment of former President Clinton in 1998. Only two other Democrats on the committee can say the same: Reps. Zoe LofgrenZoe Ellen LofgrenWhite House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team Schiff huddles in Capitol with impeachment managers Meet Pelosi's 7 impeachment managers MORE (D-Calif.) — who also served as a staffer during the impeachment process for former President Nixon — and Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeePatrick backs reparations in unveiling 'Equity Agenda for Black Americans' The US should work to counter India's actions against the people of Kashmir Sheila Jackson Lee tops colleagues in House floor speaking days over past decade MORE (D-Texas).

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Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsWhite House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle The five dumbest things said about impeachment so far MORE (R-Ga.)

Collins’s rapid-fire pace and knowledge of House procedure is sure to pose a challenge for Democrats as they try to keep the proceedings under control.

Unlike the veteran Nadler, Collins became his committee’s ranking Republican just this year after serving in the House since 2013. He’s seen as a rising star and has drawn attention from Trump, who unsuccessfully pushed Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) to appoint Collins to the Senate seat being vacated this month by retiring GOP Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonOvernight Health Care: New drug price hikes set stage for 2020 fight | Conservative group to spend M attacking Pelosi drug plan | Study finds Medicaid expansion improved health in Southern states New Georgia senator takes spot on health committee Loeffler sworn in to Georgia seat MORE.

Collins may not get the Senate seat, but Wednesday’s platform will be a nice consolation prize as he seeks to defend Trump.

 

Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanWhite House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Trump's legal team gets set for impeachment trial MORE (R-Ohio)

House GOP leaders temporarily added Jordan to the Intelligence Committee so that he could participate in its public hearings. A Judiciary member, he will now be expected to reprise his role as a pugnacious Trump defender.

Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeWhite House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team Trump's legal team gets set for impeachment trial Five lingering questions as impeachment heads to Senate MORE (R-Texas) will be another familiar face. During the Intelligence Committee hearings, he demonstrated cross-examining abilities honed as a U.S. attorney and federal terrorism prosecutor.

 

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGaetz in Twitter battle with Florida House Republican Apple under pressure to unlock Pensacola shooter's phones Conservatives slam Warren's call to put transgender women in women's prisons MORE (R-Fla.)

Gaetz crashed two closed-door witness depositions in October, which he wasn't allowed to attend since he's not on the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs or Oversight and Reform committees. Now he’ll have a secured moment in the spotlight as a member of the Judiciary Committee.

Gaetz is among a number of ardent conservatives and Trump allies on the panel, including Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the Freedom Caucus chairman; Mike JohnsonJames (Mike) Michael JohnsonWhite House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team Five lingering questions as impeachment heads to Senate Figures to watch as White House mounts impeachment defense MORE (R-La.), the Republican Study Committee chairman; Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertRepublicans eye top spot on Natural Resources panel Sheila Jackson Lee tops colleagues in House floor speaking days over past decade Trump shocks, earns GOP rebukes with Dingell remarks MORE (R-Texas), who has been known to tangle with witnesses in the past; and Jordan.

 

Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinCongressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Jayapal endorses Sanders Sanders, Warren battle for progressive endorsements The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial questions; civil Democratic debate MORE (D-Md.)

Raskin sat in on the closed-door witness depositions as a member of the Oversight and Reform Committee and will have a turn asking questions during public hearings in the Judiciary Committee.

The second-term Maryland Democrat has become a prominent face on the panel due to his expertise as a constitutional law professor. Democrats have frequently turned to him as a constitutional consultant as they’ve pursued investigations into the Trump administration.

“For most people, that’s unbelievably esoteric and dry. And for me, it’s spellbinding,” Raskin said of the Constitution during an interview with The Hill earlier this year.

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Raskin has also been floated as a potential impeachment manager for when the process moves to the Senate for a trial, making his performance in the committee hearings all the more critical for such a role.

 

Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira Cohen2019 in Photos: 35 pictures in politics Gabbard under fire for 'present' vote on impeachment Gabbard votes 'present' on impeaching Trump MORE (D-Tenn.)

Cohen, who chairs the Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, is no stranger to theatrics. He memorably brought a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken and a ceramic chicken to a hearing in early May to mock Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrParnas attorney asks William Barr to recuse himself from investigation Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Pentagon to place new restrictions, monitoring on foreign military students MORE for declining to show up and answer lawmakers’ questions about the Mueller report.

While Cohen drew plenty of media attention for the chicken emphasis, the stunt also drew some eye-rolling and accusations that Democrats were turning their oversight efforts into a circus. Nadler will be on the hook to ensure that the liberals on his committee maintain a serious and somber tone like their Intelligence Committee counterparts.

Cohen will be surrounded by plenty of other strident liberals on the panel, such as Reps. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalJayapal: 'We will end up with another Trump' if the US doesn't elect progressive House revives agenda after impeachment storm NYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president MORE (D-Wash.), a Progressive Caucus co-chair, and Ted LieuTed W. LieuDemocratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' Democratic lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism Paralysis of nations is empowering cities MORE (D-Calif.), a frequent cable news presence who’s gone viral for his tweets criticizing Trump.

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Rep. Lucy McBathLucia (Lucy) Kay McBathThe most expensive congressional races of the last decade How the 31 Democrats in Trump districts voted on impeachment Vulnerable Democrats signal support for impeachment articles this week MORE (D-Ga.)

In contrast to the aggressive liberals on the committee, McBath is one of the most vulnerable freshmen heading into 2020.

She represents a district in the Atlanta suburbs that Trump carried by just over a point but had been held by the GOP for four decades. McBath will be a model for other frontline Democrats in competitive districts carrying out the balancing act of supporting an impeachment process they held at arm’s length for most of this year.

McBath has stood by her support for the impeachment inquiry. After Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpComedians post fake Army recruitment posters featuring Trump Jr. Trump Jr., Ivanka garner support in hypothetical 2024 poll FWS: There's 'no basis' to investigate Trump Jr.'s Mongolian hunting trip MORE tweeted about protesters showing up at McBath's district office, she replied: “I refuse to be intimidated, I will do what is right.

Another freshman on the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-PowellDebbie Mucarsel-PowellVulnerable Democrats signal support for impeachment articles this week Vulnerable Democrats swing behind impeachment push Democrats launch bilingual ad campaign off drug pricing bill MORE (D-Fla.), is also on Republicans’ target list heading into 2020. Mucarsel-Powell may be on slightly easier terrain in her district given that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic debates are magnet for lobbyists NYT editorial board endorses Warren, Klobuchar for Democratic nomination for president Sanders v. Warren is just for insiders MORE carried it by 16 points in 2016. Even so, Mucarsel-Powell defeated a centrist GOP incumbent by only slightly more than a single percentage point.