Stacey Plaskett becomes first non-voting delegate in history to serve as impeachment manager

Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) on Wednesday became the first non-voting delegate in the nation’s history to serve as the House’s impeachment manager team when she argued the case for former President Trump’s conviction during his second impeachment trial in the Senate. 

While Plaskett represents the Virgin Islands’ at-large congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, she is a nonvoting member of the chamber. So, she could not cast a vote in the lower chamber to impeach Trump last month.

According to NPR News, she was the only Black woman in the chamber on Wednesday. Vice President Harris was previously the sole Black woman in the Senate, up until she resigned from the Senate to be inaugurated as vice president.

In her statements from the chamber on Wednesday, Plaskett spoke briefly about her journey growing up as young Black girl “in the projects in Brooklyn” to ascending to the U.S. House and serving as an impeachment manager.

“I’ve learned throughout my life that preparation and truth can carry you far. Can allow you to speak truth to power,” she said. “I’ve learned that as a young black girl growing up in the projects in Brooklyn, housing community on St. Croix, sent to the most unlikeliest of settings and now as an adult woman representing an island territory speaking to the US Senate.”

“And because of truth, I am confident today speaking before you, because truth and facts are overwhelming, that our president, the president of the United States incited a mob to storm the capitol, to attempt to stop the certification of a presidential election,” she continued.

Plaskett accused Trump, who was impeached by the House last month on charges of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, of “deliberately” encouraging the riot. 

“Some of you have said there is no way the president could have known how violent mob would be. That is false. The violence was foreseeable,” she said, arguing further that the “violent attack was not planned in secret and the insurgents believed they were doing the duty of their president.”

Plaskett also argued that the former president, whose charged rhetoric challenging election results and repeated claims about widespread voter fraud have come under immense scrutiny in the wake of the Capitol riot, cultivated a base of people for months that she said “were violent, praising that violence and then leaving that violence, that rage straight at our door.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a former constitutional law professor and the lead impeachment manager, said he experienced “special pride” on Wednesday when he introduced Plaskett to the Senate floor, according to CNN.

Raskin, who reportedly taught Plaskett at American University, said she “was an A student then and an A-plus student now.”

Plaskett, who served as senior counsel for the Department of Justice (DOJ) before her time in Congress, also drew widespread praise online for her presentation.

Plaskett is one of nine Democrats that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) named last month to serve on the lower chamber’s team of impeachment managers in this week’s the Senate trial. 

Her inclusion on the team comes after Plaskett previously vied to serve on the House’s team of impeachment managers during the former president’s first Senate impeachment trial. 

At the time, Plaskett said the appointment would have “let the residents of the Territories and the District of Columbia know that they do indeed have a voice in the process.” She also said she sought to represent other Black women who couldn’t vote in the chamber.

“The party says that black women are the base and our primary support, and there are five black women in the House who are attorneys and only two of us are former prosecutors,” Plaskett said then.

Tags Donald Trump Jamie Raskin Nancy Pelosi Stacey Plaskett

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