Democrats in the US House of Representatives on Wednesday unveiled a seven-member team to prosecute President Donald Trump at his impeachment trial in the Senate, headed by a former prosecutor who has become a nemesis of the Republican president.
After weeks of delay, the House is expected on Wednesday afternoon to send the two impeachment charges passed last month against Trump to the Senate, clearing the way for the trial that will determine whether he is removed from office to start in earnest next week.
The weeks-long trial in the Senate - controlled by Trump's fellow Republicans - is expected to ultimately end in his acquittal, leaving him in office. But it will focus attention on Trump's request that Ukraine investigate domestic political rival Joe Biden, as the 2020 presidential campaign heats up.
Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee chairman, 59, will lead the House "managers" who will put the case to senators that Trump should be ousted for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Biden and obstructing Congress.
Schiff spearheaded the House impeachment investigation into Trump's dealings with Ukraine and is a frequent target of Trump attacks. The president called Schiff, a former federal prosecutor, "a deranged human being" at a NATO meeting in Britain in December.
Other managers include Jerrold Nadler, 72, who crafted the two articles of impeachment against Trump, as House Judiciary Committee chairman.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the prosecutors were selected for their ability to make an effective case.
"The emphasis is making the strongest possible case to protect and defend our Constitution, to seek the truth for the American people," Pelosi told a news conference.
Biden is one of 12 candidates vying for the Democratic nomination to face Trump in the Nov. 3 election, and the trial might still be underway when Iowa and New Hampshire hold their first party nominating contests in early February.
Not one of the Senate's 53 Republicans has voiced support for ousting Trump, a step that would require a two-thirds majority in the 100-member chamber.