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Trump Names U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe To Advisory And Advocacy Role During Impeachment Trial

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Associated Press
U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe

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.

The Texas Tribune provided this story.

Abby Livingston joined the Tribune in 2014 as the publication's first Washington Bureau Chief. Previously, she covered political campaigns, House leadership and Congress for Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper. A seventh-generation Texan, Abby graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. She grew up in Fort Worth and has appeared in an episode of "The Bold and The Beautiful." Abby pitched and produced political segments for CNN and worked as an editor for The Hotline, National Journal’s campaign tipsheet. Abby began her journalism career as a desk assistant at NBC News in Washington, working her way up to the political unit, where she researched stories for Nightly News, the Today Show and Meet the Press. In keeping with the Trib’s great history of hiring softball stars, Abby is a three-time MVP (the most in game history —Ed.) for The Bad News Babes, the women’s press softball team that takes on female members of Congress in the annual Congressional Women’s Softball breast cancer charity game.