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President Trump adds eight House Republicans to impeachment defense team

The White House announced the members' appointments on the eve of Senate trial proceedings

(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has named eight GOP members of the House of Representatives to assist with his defense in the Senate impeachment trial proceedings set to begin this week.

What are the details?

Monday night, the White House announced that Republican Reps. Doug Collins (Ga.), Mike Johnson (La.), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Debbie Lesko (Ariz.), Mark Meadows (N.C.), John Ratcliffe (Texas), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), and Lee Zeldin (N.Y.) "will serve as part of [President Trump's] team working to combat this hyper-partisan and baseless impeachment."

The statement explained that "throughout this process, these Members of Congress have provided guidance to the White House team, which was prohibited from participating in the proceedings concocted by Democrats in the House of Representatives. The President looks forward to their continued participation and is confident that the Members will help expeditiously end this brazen political vendetta on behalf of the American people."

The White House further noted that those named were an "initial list." All of the members were high profile defenders of President Trump during the impeachment probe in the House.

The Hill reported that Senate Republicans have expressed resistance to bringing GOP House members in on the trial in the upper chamber. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was quoted as saying of the prospect earlier this month, "I don't think it's wise. I think we need to elevate the argument beyond body politics, beyond party politics and talk about the constitutional problems with these two articles."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has her own team of House Democrats set to argue for President Trump's ouster as impeachment managers: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (Calif.), Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (N.Y.), and Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), Val Demings (Fla.), Sylvia Garcia (Texas), and Jason Crow (Colo.).

However, a senior Trump administration official told Fox News of the House members joining the president's team, "We are not planning for them to present statements on the Senate floor. The group will continue to give critical guidance on the case because of their strong familiarity with the facts and evidence."

Anything else?

Two major Trump allies from the House were notably missing from the list named by the White House: Reps. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).

Speaker Pelosi has been criticized throughout the House impeachment probe for conducting a partisan pursuit against the president.

Even some Democrats expressed confusion over the speaker refusing to name former Republican Justin Amash (I-Mich.)— who left the GOP after reading the Mueller report and voted in favor of impeachment— as an impeachment manager, arguing his inclusion would give some semblance of the impeachment effort having the support of more than just Democrats.

No House Republicans voted for impeaching President Trump.

One last thing…
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