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 TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick 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 NadlerDemocrats shoot down talk of expanding Supreme Court Schumer: 'Nothing is off the table' if GOP moves forward with Ginsburg replacement Top Democrats call for DOJ watchdog to probe Barr over possible 2020 election influence 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 SchiffSchiff to subpoena top DHS official, alleges whistleblower deposition is being stonewalled Schiff claims DHS is blocking whistleblower's access to records before testimony GOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power 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 PelosiDemocratic senator to party: 'A little message discipline wouldn't kill us' Overnight Health Care: New wave of COVID-19 cases builds in US | Florida to lift all coronavirus restrictions on restaurants, bars | Trump stirs questions with 0 drug coupon plan Overnight Defense: Appeals court revives House lawsuit against military funding for border wall | Dems push for limits on transferring military gear to police | Lawmakers ask for IG probe into Pentagon's use of COVID-19 funds MORE (D-Calif.) for much of the year over moving ahead with impeachment in response to former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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 BidenFormer Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick Bloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida 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 LofgrenBusiness groups start gaming out a Biden administration Top Democrats call for DOJ watchdog to probe Barr over possible 2020 election influence DHS opens probe into allegations at Georgia ICE facility MORE (D-Calif.) — who also served as a staffer during the impeachment process for former President Nixon — and Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeGrand jury charges no officers in Breonna Taylor death Hillicon Valley: Murky TikTok deal raises questions about China's role | Twitter investigating automated image previews over apparent algorithmic bias | House approves bill making hacking federal voting systems a crime House approves legislation making hacking voting systems a federal crime MORE (D-Texas).

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Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsDemocrats ramp up pressure on Lieberman to drop out of Georgia Senate race The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden on Trump: 'He'll leave' l GOP laywers brush off Trump's election remarks l Obama's endorsements GOP, Democrats look to galvanize women with SCOTUS fight 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 IsaksonDemocrats ramp up pressure on Lieberman to drop out of Georgia Senate race Obama endorses Warnock in crowded Georgia Senate race Lobbying world 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 JordanHouse panel pulls Powell into partisan battles over pandemic Sunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election House passes resolution condemning anti-Asian discrimination relating to coronavirus 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 RatcliffeHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Bipartisan representatives demand answers on expired surveillance programs Democrats call for declassifying election threats after briefing by Trump officials 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) GaetzTrump faces tricky choice on Supreme Court pick Florida attorney general scrutinizing Bloomberg paying fines for felons to vote Lara Trump campaigns with far-right activist candidate Laura Loomer in Florida 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 JohnsonReclaiming the American Dream LWCF modernization: Restoring the promise Mike Johnson to run for vice chairman of House GOP conference MORE (R-La.), the Republican Study Committee chairman; Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertRep. Dan Meuser tests positive for COVID-19 Watchdog calls for probe into Gohmert 'disregarding public health guidance' on COVID-19 Massie plans to donate plasma after testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies MORE (R-Texas), who has been known to tangle with witnesses in the past; and Jordan.

 

Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinOVERNIGHT ENERGY:  House passes sweeping clean energy bill | Pebble Mine CEO resigns over secretly recorded comments about government officials  | Corporations roll out climate goals amid growing pressure to deliver On The Money: House panel pulls Powell into partisan battles | New York considers hiking taxes on the rich | Treasury: Trump's payroll tax deferral won't hurt Social Security House panel pulls Powell into partisan battles over pandemic 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 CohenTennessee Rep. Steve Cohen wins Democratic primary Democrats exit briefing saying they fear elections under foreign threat Texas Democrat proposes legislation requiring masks in federal facilities 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 BarrFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Why a backdoor to encrypted data is detrimental to cybersecurity and data integrity FBI official who worked with Mueller raised doubts about Russia investigation 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 JayapalHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Bipartisan representatives demand answers on expired surveillance programs DHS opens probe into allegations at Georgia ICE facility MORE (D-Wash.), a Progressive Caucus co-chair, and Ted LieuTed W. LieuThe spin on Woodward's tapes reveals the hypocrisy of Democrats Larry Kudlow defends response to coronavirus: Trump 'led wisely' Lieu on Trump 'playing it down' on coronavirus: 'This is reckless homicide' 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 McBathThis week: House returns for pre-election sprint House Democrats' campaign arm reserves .6M in ads in competitive districts Black Lives Matter movement to play elevated role at convention 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 John Trump'Tiger King' star Joe Exotic requests pardon from Trump: 'Be my hero please' Zaid Jilani discusses Trump's move to cancel racial sensitivity training at federal agencies Trump International Hotel in Vancouver closes permanently 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-PowellDisinformation, QAnon efforts targeting Latino voters ramp up ahead of presidential election Florida Democrat asks FBI to investigate anti-Semitic, racist disinformation Hispanic Caucus members embark on 'virtual bus tour' with Biden campaign 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 ClintonBloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida Hillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close Trump pledges to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, designate KKK a terrorist group in pitch to Black voters 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.