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The Delegate From The US Virgin Islands Wants A Big Role In The Senate's Impeachment Trial To Give Representation To Black Women

“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,” Rep. Stacey Plaskett said.

Posted on December 17, 2019, at 11:17 a.m. ET

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WASHINGTON — Rep. Stacey Plaskett, a delegate to Congress representing the US Virgin Islands, penned a letter earlier this month asking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to appoint her as one of the House managers in the Senate’s impeachment trial of Donald Trump.

The letter, obtained by BuzzFeed News, offers a rare glimpse at the raw ambition members seldom exhibit in public when lobbying the Speaker of the House. In her note to Pelosi, Plaskett laid out a case that her representation in the yet-to-be-decided group of members presenting the case against Trump at a Senate trial would be especially notable to her constituents as citizens who do not have full voting rights. House Democrats are expected to have the votes to impeach Trump, making him the third president to be impeached in US history.

“Considering the fact that Virgin Islanders, who are indeed Americans and enlist in our military in higher numbers than any state in the [union] and at the same time we cannot vote for the president of the United States, this would be a great opportunity for me to represent my constituents,” Plaskett said. “Appointing me one of the House Managers will indeed let the residents of the Territories and the District of Columbia know that they do indeed have a voice in the process.

“Not only was I a prosecutor, you know I worked at the Department of Justice. I headed up the litigation against the tobacco companies and so I feel like I’m able to go up against whomever. Along with the fact that I worked in a Republican Administration at the Department of Justice. I wasn’t there just as a line attorney, I was a political person in a Republican Administration — you have the rest.”

Plaskett highlighted her “long history of public service” as an assistant district attorney in New York City and having worked at the Department of Justice. Plaskett said her experience as a prosecutor concerning “anti-corruption, compliance and rule of law” could function as “great asset” for the process “considering the perceived misgivings, deceit and fabrications along with possibly bribery this current president is being accused of” in the impeachment articles.

In a brief interview with BuzzFeed News, Plaskett pointed out that she was one of two black women in Congress who had prior experience as a prosecutor. The other is Rep. Marcia Fudge, who, a source familiar with the matter said, was not interested in the role.

That leaves Plaskett, a dutiful member of the Congressional Black Caucus, as an attractive option in the eyes of some of her fellow colleagues.

“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 — that’s myself and Marcia Fudge. And she and I have talked about it and I told her I would happily take the position if it was offered to me and she herself has said that she thinks I would be a good choice,” Plaskett said.

Plaskett is a member of the House Agriculture, Transportation, and Infrastructure and Oversight and Government Reform committees.

“Please know that I understand the importance of being a House Manager and know that there will be quite a few young ladies and women for that fact of color who will be looking to me as I take on the position of House Manager,” Plaskett wrote. “I do not take the appointment or position lightly as how history will judge us before and after the proceedings are done.”

Rep. Val Demings, the former Orlando chief of police who was one of the stars of the House Intelligence Committee’s inquiry, is thought to be one of the House members whom leadership is considering for one of the coveted posts. After last week saying that her name was up for consideration, Demings added, “If the speaker would like for me to do that, I would be happy to do it.”

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