Stacey Plaskett, brilliant manager of Trump's impeachment trial
In the impeachment trial against Trump in the US Congress, the voice of one woman has been heard loud and clear. She is Democrat Stacey Plaskett, who is acting as "impeachment manager" (a kind of prosecutor). Her account has been forceful in linking Trump to the violence on Capitol Hill. Who is she, and why did she not vote against Trump at the end of the trial?
Stacey Plaskett was born in New York, where her parents had immigrated from the Virgin Islands. Her father was a policeman and her mother a court clerk. The family lived in a poor neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Plaskett often returned with her family to the Virgin Islands. It's a territory not officially incorporated into the United States, even though its inhabitants are considered Americans. One of the exceptions for the islanders is that they have certain limitations in the elections.
The young Stacey Plaskett attended religious schools in Brooklyn and excelled to the point where she was selected by the organization 'A Better Chance Inc' to pursue a higher-level education. The group helps racial minority students get into high-performing schools and colleges.
In the case of Plaskett, 'A Better Chance' helped her get into the upscale girls' boarding school Choate Rosemary Hall. In this institute, she practiced athletics and prepared for law school.
(Image: Daderot, Wikimedia)
Stacey Plaskett was a brilliant law student who graduated from the prestigious Georgetown University. At the impeachment trial, her Democratic colleague Jamie Raskin, who used to be her professor, stated that she always was an 'A' student and that "she is an 'A+' student now."
Stacey Plaskett worked as an assistant district attorney in the Bronx and prosecuted numerous cases, most notably in the fight against drug trafficking. But politics was something that appealed to her. Or, rather, the management of public affairs.
Stacey Plaskett began working in important positions in the area of justice for the George W. Bush administration. In those days, she moved around the Republican Party, and everything suggested that her political career would develop on that side.
However, in 2008 (the year in which Barack Obama became president), Stacey Plaskett joined the Democratic Party. With the knowledge of today, her move from Republicans to Democrats was probably a wise career move. Since 2012, Plaskett has been a representative for the Virgin Islands.
What would have become of her career if she had stayed in the Republican ranks? No one can know, but it is certain that in the current, Trump-led Republican Party, it has been a lot harder for African Americans to repeat the successes of predecessors like Colin Powell or Condoleezza Rice (in the photo with President George W. Bush).
Stacey Plaskett has five children and is married to Jonathan Buckney Small, a former professional tennis player. She became the mother of her first two children at a very young age, while still a law student at Georgetown.
Like other colleagues, Stacey Plaskett had to hide during the assault at the Capitol and her life may have been in danger. That is one of the central ideas of the accusation in this impeachment: if they could have, the assailants (the Democrats argue) would have killed people like Stacey Plaskett or Nancy Pelosi.
The physical integrity of the members of Congress was not guaranteed, that is one thing that has become clear through the increasing photo and video evidence of the assault. In the Senate impeachment trial, Stacey Plaskett powerfully argued that Trump was the guilty one on this day, and that he incited violence.
The Democratic Party's choice of Stacey Plaskett to prosecute Trump was significant. She is a solid jurist and a person of moderate ideology who has even been employed by the Republican Party. Her appointment as impeachment manager was intended to show the public that this impeachment was not a vindictive political trial but that there was a legal basis for Trump to be convicted and disqualified.
The management of the impeachment trial against Trump has been left to Stacey Plaskett and other Democratic representatives. President Joe Biden has decided to remain on the sidelines in this matter, showing an institutional neutrality that contrasts with the permanent noise generated via Twitter when Trump was still in the White House.
There is something curious about Stacey Plaskett's position in the trial. Even though she had a central role among other Democratic representatives, she was unable to participate in the impeachment vote against Trump. As a congresswoman for the Virgin Islands, she has a more limited vote on Capitol Hill matters than representatives from the official states.
Yet, although she will not be able to vote, Stacey Plaskett's voice is heard loud and clear. She will be remembered for her compelling case that Trump incited a rebellion among his most radical supporters.