Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett’s historic role as an impeachment manager

If you’ve watched any of this week’s impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump, you may not recognize some of the House Impeachment Managers. But one lawmaker, in particular, is standing out.

Virgin Islands Delegate Stacey Plaskett (D) splashed onto the national scene this week for what was, to many Americans, their first time hearing about her. But, prior to this week’s impeachment trial, she has plenty of experience in the courtroom, as a former prosecutor in the Bronx and in the Justice Department in the George W. Bush administration.

Plaskett found herself front and center of the trial as she illustrated, with chilling, never-before-seen video just how close rioters came to lawmakers during the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots.

“He praised and encouraged the violence so that it would continue,” Plaskett said during the prosecution. “He fanned the flame of violence and it worked.”

Plaskett’s role as an impeachment manager is both historic and notable. She’s the first member of Congress from a U.S. territory to serve as a manager. In fact, as a delegate from a territory, U.S. House rules prohibited the Democratic lawmaker from voting when her House colleagues impeached Trump last month.

Now, she’s making the case to convict him.

“I’m spending an enormous amount of time discussing with the other managers, working as a team, making sure we present the best case to ensure that we present the best case for what the House has deemed the President is, in fact, guilty of,” Plaskett told our Washington, D.C. Bureau last month.

Plaskett is also the only Black female elected official in the Senate chamber this week. The 54-year-old mother of five has always prided her African American and Caribbean heritage. It’s a common bond she shares with Vice President Kamala Harris, whose father is from Jamaica.

“Despite so many of our issues, the majority of Americans voted… for a Caribbean, Southeast Asian-American woman of color to be vice president,” Plaskett told us in that January interview.

Plaskett’s shine in the political spotlight has now earned her more Twitter followers – a total of 170,000 as of Friday morning – than constituents. (The Virgin Islands is home to just 106,000 residents, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.)

Once the trial ends, she will resume her new role in yet another first for a member from a territory: serving on the powerful House Ways & Means Committee. She’s also only the fourth Black woman to serve on the Committee, Plaskett said.

“Not only having the support of leadership but the caucus unanimously agreeing that I should be on this committee is really a culmination of a lot of work on our part to be considered an equal of other members,” Plaskett said.