WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump formally designated U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe, a Heath Republican, on Monday as one of several U.S. House members to serve on his "impeachment team."
The group will not be on par with the president's appointed legal defense team, but instead serve in advisory and television advocacy roles, per NBC News. CNN reported that these designees will likely not speak on the Senate floor.
That the president would elevate Ratcliffe to this post is unsurprising. A former prosecutor, Ratcliffe is one of the Trump's fiercest defenders in the U.S. House, particularly amid impeachment hearings in the lower chamber. As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, colleagues often deferred their time to Ratcliffe.
Ratcliffe joins several other Trump allies in this capacity: U.S. House Reps. Doug Collins of Georgia; Mike Johnson of Louisiana; Jim Jordan of Ohio; Debbie Lesko of Arizona; Mark Meadows of North Carolina; and Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin of New York.
Last week, House Democrats selected U.S. Rep. Sylvia R. Garcia, D-Houston, to serve as a House impeachment manager. She is expected to play a supporting role in the prosecution of Trump in the Senate trial, which will consume Congress in the coming days. Former Baylor President and Clinton-era independent counsel Ken Starr will serve on Trump's legal defense team.
Trump previously appointed Ratcliffe to the post of director of national intelligence, but Ratcliffe withdrew his name from consideration.