Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Rep. Val Demings
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) and Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Val Demings (D-FL) have made history as the first members of the Congressional Black Caucus to be selected as managers for a president’s impeachment trial. It is also the first time women have been chosen.

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In a statement, the CBC noted the “historic moment” for the caucus.

“As the conscience of the Congress, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including Representatives Jeffries and Demings, have worked tirelessly to ensure that our democracy remains intact and that the highest office in the land is no longer compromised,” CBC leaders write in the statement. “Indeed, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus were among the first to call for the impeachment of this President. Since Donald Trump was sworn into office, the Black community has suffered from repressive and racist policies to heightened incitement of racial violence and rising unemployment rates in our community.”

The appointment of Jeffries and Demings marks a “historic moment for the Congressional Black Caucus,” the statement adds. “This is the first time in history that members of the Congressional Black Caucus and women have been selected to play such a crucial role in a presidential impeachment hearing. Regardless of what happens, United States history will note that President Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives. We must now look towards our colleagues in the Senate, on both sides of the aisle, to have the courage to stand for a fair and open impeachment process with evidence and witnesses.”

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Managers are tasked with making presentations before the Senate as to why Trump should be impeached based on the two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – passed by the House. Managers serve a similar role to that of a prosecutor in a trial, in that they must present the case to the Senate. Ultimately, the Senate will decide whether to convict Trump and remove him from office, which requires 67 votes, or a two-thirds majority.