Rep. Val Demings talks about ‘incredibly historic’ moment ahead of impeachment trial

Congresswoman named one of seven case managers

ORLANDO, Fla. – After a Martin Luther King, Jr. luncheon in Orlando Friday, Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) spoke on her role as an impeachment manager for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, which is set to begin Tuesday in the Senate.

The congresswoman was appointed Wednesday as one of seven impeachment managers by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“I never expected to be involved in an impeachment inquiry after being in Congress for only three years, but the times have found us and I'm going to do what is expected of me,” Demings said.

Of the seven case managers chosen, Demings is the only one not a lawyer and the only one with a background in criminal law enforcement. Demings became the first woman to serve as Orlando’s chief of police in 2007. She retired in 2011 after 27 years on the force. The next year, she ran for a seat in the House of Representatives but lost. In 2016, she won her current congressional seat. Demings believes that helped her get the job.

"I believe it gives me a unique position and unique qualifications," she said. "Here I was charged with protecting and serving my community. In Congress, I'm still protecting and serving that precious document."

It’s a job that former Rep. Bill McCullom had as a case manager on the former president Bill Clinton impeachment hearings. He explained what the congresswoman can expect come Tuesday.

“The managers are assigned to represent the House to prosecute the articles of impeachment before the Senate and the Senate trial,” he said. “Once the arguments have been made, there will be an opportunity for a motion to dismiss.”

Demings said Friday, though the president and many republicans have called the process a hoax, she isn’t completely writing off the Senate and doesn’t think the Senate will vote to dismiss the charges all together.

“I think we have some senators who are in some tough states,” Demings said. “So to say to the American people, ‘Ignore them, I make a motion to dismiss.’ I would be surprised if they voted to do that.”

When asked whether or not live witnesses will be called, Demings said it’s possible.

"I think the American people deserve to hear from additional witnesses who were obstructed from testifying before the House," Demings said.

McCullom, though on the other side of the political aisle, advocated for his Central Florida colleague Friday.

“Val is very poised, she’s very intelligent, articulate. She and I don’t agree politically,” McCullum said. “She will equip herself very well.”

Demings is flying back Sunday to talk more specifically on what her role will be when the Senate trial begins Tuesday afternoon.

After she was chosen as manager, Demings’ office released a detailed statement about Trump’s impeachment:

Article I: Abuse Of Power

“President Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 United States Presidential election.

“In so doing, President Trump used the powers of the Presidency in a manner that compromised the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process.

“President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.

Article II: Obstruction Of Congress

“The House of Representatives has engaged in an impeachment inquiry focused on President Trump’s corrupt solicitation of the Government of Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 United States Presidential election.

“In the history of the Republic, no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors.’ This abuse of office served to cover up the President’s own repeated misconduct and to seize and control the power of impeachment — and thus to nullify a vital constitutional safeguard.”

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