Delegate Stacey Plaskett, 54, is in her fourth term representing the United States Virgin Islands’ at-large congressional district, according to her House webpage and is one of the house managers outlining the case against the 45th President Trump of the United States.
She is playing an historic role as part of the prosecution team in Trump’s senate trial. Plaskett is also making history among the select group of lawmakers as the first non-voting member of the House of Representatives to serve as an impeachment manager.
The Lead House Impeachment Manager, Jamie Raskin, highlighted the historical role Plaskett is playing in his opening introduction of her.
“This is a moment of special pride for me,” Raskin said; noting that Plaskett is “the first delegate ever to be on a team of impeachment managers in American history.”
When Plaskett took to the podium on Wednesday she described in her address what she appeared to see as racial overtones in the defense counsel’s presentation.
Before launching into her case against the former president, Plaskett first spoke about her personal and professional growth.
“I’ve learned throughout my life that preparation and truth can carry you far, can allow you to speak truth to power. I’ve learned that as a young Black girl growing up in the projects in Brooklyn, a housing community on St. Croix, sent to the most unlikeliest of settings and now as an adult woman representing an island territory speaking to the US Senate,” Plaskett said.
The Trump legal team throughout the impeachment trial very often compared the Capitol Hill insurrection to the Black Lives Matter protests that occurred throughout the United States last summer.
“The defense counsels put a lot of videos out in their defense … playing clip after clip of Black women talking about fighting for a cause or issue or a policy,” said Delegate Plaskett, referring to a video that seem to target new Vice President Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
The Delegate was also the only elected Black woman in the Senate chamber on Wednesday, where she further argued that, “It was not lost on me as so many of them were people of color, and women, and Black women — Black women like myself who are sick and tired of being sick and tired for our children … your children, our children.”
“[That] summer things happened that were violent, but there were also things that gave some of us Black women great comfort. Seeing Amish people from Pennsylvania standing up with us, members of Congress fighting up with us. So I thought we were past that. I think maybe we’re not.”
Plaskett is not able to cast votes on the House floor because she’s a delegate representing a US territory rather than a state. Her role now is acting as a prosecutor against the 45th President during the Senate trial.
The basis of the House impeachment managers argument is that Trump incited an insurrection at the Capitol and are lobbying the Senate to convict him.
In continuing her remarks, “Plaskett also alluded to an often overlooked voting rights issue as it relates to U.S. territories like her constituency in the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as D.C. and Puerto Rico. While members representing these U.S. territories are able to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, they do not have the right to vote on legislation.”
Plaskett added, “There are long-standing consequences, decisions like this that will define who we are as a people — who America is. We have in this room made monumental decisions … you all have made monumental decisions. We’ve declared wars, passed civil rights acts, ensured that no one in this country is a slave [and] every American has the right to vote — unless you live in a territory,” said Plaskett.
“At this time, some of these decisions are even controversial, but history has shown that they define us as a country and as a people. Today is one of those moments and history will wait for our decision.”
Delegate Plaskett makes up one of nine impeachment managers which are all House Democrats. The Impeachment Managers have been tasked with presenting the House’s case to senators, who are acting as jurors during the trial.
Her career background shows that she has prior prosecutorial experience. She served as assistant district attorney for the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and as senior counsel at the US Department of Justice before being elected to Congress. She was also general counsel for the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority.
In addition to Plaskett representing the United States Virgin Islands, there are currently four other delegates representing the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. A resident commissioner represents Puerto Rico.
“The delegates and resident commissioner possess the same powers as other members of the House, except that they may not vote when the House is meeting as the House of Representatives.”
In addition to Plaskett making history as a delegate on the impeachment team, she is a former student of Raskin’s, who was a constitutional law professor before being elected to Congress.
Raskin said on Wednesday as he introduced Plaskett that she was “also my law student at American University’s Washington College of Law.” He added, “I hope I’m not violating any federal educational records, laws, when I say she was an A student then and she’s an A+ student now.”
A report from the Congressional Research Service notes that “delegates, representing territories that had not yet achieved statehood, have served in the House since the late 1700s. In the 20th century, the concept of delegate grew to include representation of territories where the United States exercises some degree of control but were not expected to become states.”