Lawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing

Lawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing
© Getty Images

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 TrumpMcCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden Biden, Trudeau agree to meet next month Trump planned to oust acting AG to overturn Georgia election results: report MORE’s dealings with Ukraine.


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


Rep. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerPelosi names 9 impeachment managers Republicans gauge support for Trump impeachment Clyburn blasts DeVos and Chao for 'running away' from 25th Amendment fight 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 SchiffBiden to keep Wray as FBI director Biden urged to reverse Pompeo-Trump move on Houthis Angus King warns of 'grave danger' of Trump revealing classified information 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 PelosiDivide and conquer or unite and prosper Trump impeachment article being sent to Senate Monday Roe is not enough: Why Black women want an end to the Hyde Amendment MORE (D-Calif.) for much of the year over moving ahead with impeachment in response to former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump 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 BidenMcCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden Biden, Trudeau agree to meet next month Fauci infuriated by threats to family 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 LofgrenLawmakers briefed on 'horrifying,' 'chilling' security threats ahead of inauguration Efforts to secure elections likely to gain ground in Democrat-controlled Congress Capitol Police chief announces resignation after pro-Trump riots MORE (D-Calif.) — who also served as a staffer during the impeachment process for former President Nixon — and Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeK Street navigates virtual inauguration week Lobbying world Inauguration parties lose the glitz and glamour in 2021 MORE (D-Texas).



Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsDrudge congratulates Warnock, says Ann Coulter should have been GOP candidate Warnock defeats Loeffler in Georgia Senate runoff Warnock says he needs to win 'by comfortable margin' because 'funny things go on' 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 IsaksonLoeffler concedes to Warnock Hawley to still object to Pennsylvania after Capitol breached Hillary Clinton trolls McConnell: 'Senate Minority Leader' 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 JordanBiden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Inauguration Day McCarthy won't back effort to oust Cheney 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 RatcliffeSenate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official Biden intelligence chief pledges to keep politics out of job House panels open review of Capitol riot 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) GaetzCheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency Florida Republicans close ranks with Trump after Capitol siege The Memo: Historic vote leaves Trump more isolated than ever 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 JohnsonREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow dies of COVID-19 House Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit MORE (R-La.), the Republican Study Committee chairman; Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertTrust between lawmakers reaches all-time low after Capitol riots Why Trump could face criminal charges for inciting violence and insurrection Democrats to levy fines on maskless lawmakers on House floor MORE (R-Texas), who has been known to tangle with witnesses in the past; and Jordan.


Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinInauguration parties lose the glitz and glamour in 2021 This week: Tensions running high in Trump's final days Democratic lawmaker says 'assassination party' hunted for Pelosi during riot 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.


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 CohenRep. Cohen responds to Denver Post editorial on criticism of Boebert Denver Post editorial board defends Boebert against 'blatantly sexist and elitist attacks' Pelosi: Trump could be an accessory to murder 'because he instigated that insurrection' 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 BarrBill BarrBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Two-thirds say the election was fair: poll The Hill's Morning Report - An inauguration like no other 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 JayapalThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden asks Congress to expand largest relief response in U.S. history Rep. Adriano Espaillat tests positive for COVID-19 Overnight Health Care: Trump admin makes changes to speed vaccinations | CDC to order negative tests for international travelers | More lawmakers test positive after Capitol siege MORE (D-Wash.), a Progressive Caucus co-chair, and Ted LieuTed W. LieuHouse Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis Washington state rep joins list of Republicans voting to impeach Trump Growing number of GOP lawmakers say they support impeachment MORE (D-Calif.), a frequent cable news presence who’s gone viral for his tweets criticizing Trump.



Rep. Lucy McBathLucia (Lucy) Kay McBathHouse Judiciary Democrats ask Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump On The Trail: Eight takeaways from Georgia's stunning election results Maloney vows to overhaul a House Democratic campaign machine 'stuck in the past' 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.Don TrumpCompany appeals rejection of controversial Pebble Mine  Singer Taylor Dayne responds to criticism after Mar-a-Lago performance: 'I try to stay non-political' More voters say pardons for Trump's family would be inappropriate: poll 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-PowellTrump, Florida complicate Biden approach to Cuba The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Coast-to-coast fears about post-holiday COVID-19 spread The Memo: Democrats see warning signs beyond 2020 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 ClintonTexas Supreme Court rejects Alex Jones request to toss lawsuits from Sandy Hook parents Paris Agreement: Biden's chance to restore international standing Samantha Power's Herculean task: Turning a screw with a rubber screwdriver 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.