By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) – House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday named the seven lawmakers who will prosecute U.S. President Donald Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate.
Pelosi said in choosing the team the emphasis was on lawmakers who had past experience as litigators and had exhibited a high level of comfort in courtroom settings.
They will be led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Pelosi announced. Congressmen Jerry Nadler, Hakeem Jeffries, Jason Crow and congresswomen Zoe Lofgren, Val Demings and Sylvia Garcia will comprise the rest of the team.
Schiff served as a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles for six years before entering politics, and Jeffries and Crow have past experience working as litigators in private practice. Garcia served as the presiding judge of Houston's municipal system, and was the first Latina elected to the Harris County Commissioners Court.
Nadler, who is the House Judiciary Committee chairman, has been the top Democrat on the committee's Constitution panel for 13 years.
Demings was Orlando, Florida’s first female police chief, and Lofgren, who is serving her 13th term in Congress, has experience in the impeachment proceedings of former President Richard Nixon as a Judiciary Committee staffer, and former President Bill Clinton as a committee member.
The naming of the managers marks a major milestone in Trump's impeachment proceedings. It will be followed by a vote on transmitting Trump's two impeachment articles which is expected Wednesday.
Pelosi has been withholding them since December in a bid to ramp up pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as she sought to win concessions on the rules of Trump's trial, and whether witnesses would be called. But McConnell has held firm, refusing to budge on any matters before they are sent.
The Senate has yet to vote on the rules of the trial, but Trump is almost certain to be acquitted in the Republican-held chamber. Democrats would need 67 votes to remove him from office, but none of the Senate's 53 Republicans have indicated they would support Trump's removal.
Trump was impeached in December when the House approved abuse of power and obstruction of Congress articles against him.
The charges are related to Trump's multiple requests to Ukraine to publicly declare criminal probes into Democratic front-runner Joe Biden, as well as his refusal to cooperate with the House's proceedings and his directive that top officials toe the same line.
Trump has dismissed the case against him as a hoax fabricated by Democrats, and called on his Republican allies in Congress to move for a quick dismissal of the case.
But McConnell said Tuesday there is "little or no sentiment in the Republican conference for" that course of action, bucking the president's request and setting the stage for a longer-term process.
The White House harshly rebuked Pelosi shortly after she named the managers, saying it "does not change a single thing."
"President Trump has done nothing wrong. He looks forward to having the due process rights in the Senate that Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats denied to him, and expects to be fully exonerated," said spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham.
Chief Justice John Roberts will preside over the proceedings, which will see Trump become only the third president in U.S. history to face a Senate trial when it begins likely next Tuesday.
Turkey marks 567th anniversary of Istanbul’s conquest
By Handan Kazanci
ANKARA (AA) - Anadolu Agency is here with a rundown of the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic and other news in Turkey and around the world.
- Coronavirus in Turkey
Turkey on Thursday confirmed 926 additional recoveries as the country began easing measures against the novel coronavirus, according to the country’s health minister.
The total number of recoveries from the disease hit 131,778 as 926 more patients were discharged from hospitals over the past day, Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter, citing Health Ministry data.
The country's death toll from the outbreak rose to 4,630 as Turkey reported 21 new fatalities over the last 24 hours.
Turkey conducted over 54,000 COVID-19 tests in the past 24 hours, bringing the total tally to more than 2.2 million, said Koca.
Meanwhile, Turkey plans to resume international flights to 40 countries gradually as of June 10, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu said Thursday.
International flights from Turkey will carry passengers first to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Qatar and Greece, Karaismailoglu said in a statement.
Turkey suspended all international flights on March 28 amid COVID-19-related travel restrictions worldwide.
- Global coronavirus developments
A low death toll was once again recorded Thursday as France recovers from the coronavirus pandemic which plagued the country over the last three months, according to the latest statistics reported by the Health Ministry.
The country registered a total of 46 deaths in hospitals Thursday, a drop of 39 cases over those reported Wednesday.
Italy on Thursday reported 88 more fatalities from the pandemic, bringing the death toll to 33,689 as authorities unveiled new guidelines to prevent crowded summer spots like beach resorts from becoming new virus hotbeds.
The slowing trend in the number of deaths registered in May continued in early June, confirming that the peak of the crisis has been passed.
Face masks on English public transport will be mandatory from June 15, the British government announced Thursday, as a further 176 people died from the coronavirus over the past 24 hours.
British authorities announced that the UK-wide death toll from COVID-19 is now 39,904.
As Spain prepares for its state of emergency over COVID-19 to last until June 21, the Health Ministry reported Thursday that 195 more people were infected with the coronavirus and five more had died.
The number of infections diagnosed Wednesday was down slightly from the 219 people who tested positive Tuesday but up from Monday and Sunday. In total, 240,660 infections have been confirmed in the country.
Health officials in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza announced Thursday the arrival of medical supplies sent by Turkey to help fight the novel coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement, Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra confirmed that two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines had been delivered for detecting the virus.
- George Floyd Memorial service
Hundreds of mourners on Thursday attended the first of several memorials for George Floyd – an unarmed black man who was killed in police custody on May 25.
The service at North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota was attended by Floyd's family and Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney representing the family, as well as celebrity guests.
Meanwhile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday urged demonstrators joining protests over the death of George Floyd to get tested for the novel coronavirus.
Speaking at his daily press briefing, Cuomo said around 30,000 people have taken part in the statewide protests demanding justice for the killing of the unarmed black man in police custody.
Of them, 20,000 were involved in rallies in New York City.
In Europe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged citizens not to overlook the racism problem in Germany while intensely discussing racism and police brutality in the US after the death of George Floyd.
"This murder of George Floyd is very, very terrible. Racism is something terrible,” Merkel said Thursday evening in an exclusive interview with public broadcaster ZDF.
“Racism has always been present, but sadly we also have this [problem]. We should first sweep in front of our own door,” she stressed.
- Other developments
Turkey and Libya plan to advance cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean, including exploration and drilling activities, to further benefit from natural resources, Turkey’s president said in a meeting with Libya’s prime minister Thursday.
The meeting between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Fayez al-Sarraj took place at the presidential palace in the Turkish capital Ankara.
Erdogan said Turkey and Libya have reached a consensus on expanding their cooperation areas on the territory of Libya.