March 3, 2021

Virgin Island delegate makes history at US impeachment trial

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By Vinette K. Pryce From Caribbean Life

U.S. House impeachment manager and Delegate from the Virgin Islands Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) delivers part of the impeachment managers’ opening argument in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, on charges of inciting the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, on the floor of the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., Feb. 10, 2021.
U.S. Senate TV/Handout via Reuters

Rabid Republicans were forced to listen to Caribbean Delegate, Stacey Plaskett, a St. Croix native and a House impeachment manager tasked with prosecuting former President Donald J. Trump accused with inciting a raucous insurrection at the US Capitol that resulted in the death of five Americans; and more than 140 injured Capitol Police Officers who tried to defend the institution and the legislators barricaded inside.

Although Rep. Plaskett does not have a vote in Congress, she made history arguing a charge for conviction of the leader of the Republican Party.

“You’ll see that this violent attack was not planned in secret,” Plaskett said, “The insurgents believed they were doing the duty of their president. They were following his orders.”

The US Virgin Island representative referenced the 45th president to being the “inciter in chief” and repeatedly asserted that his actions proved his guilt in committing “high crimes of misdemeanors.”

She said his attempt to stop certification of the Nov. 3 elections and his persistence in denying the outcome incited his supporters to storm the sacred seat of Democracy. Those actions she said merit a conviction with penalty of disqualification from ever holding elected office.

Del. Plaskett said as a member of the House of the Representatives and spokesperson for the territory of the Virgin Islands it was her duty to “speak truth to power.”

“I’ve learned that as a young Black girl growing up in the projects of Brooklyn, a housing community in St. Croix, sent to the most un-likeliest of settings and now as an adult woman representing an island territory speaking to the US Senate.”

The nightmare of another perceived toxic, Black, female named Stacey unleashing a litany of damning evidence against the former president must have felt uncomfortable for members of the GOP hell-bent on acquitting the leader of the Republican Party.

Her accusations seemed to fall on at least 43 pairs of deaf ears.

However, throughout the four-day trial, and despite alleged exhibitions of disinterest from a majority of Republicans, the four-term Caribbean congresswoman persevered in delivering blistering condemnation of the impeachable act.

To her credit, she first litigated cases in the Bronx as an assistant district attorney.

Later she served as senior counsel in the US Department of Justice.

Last week, not only did her legal prosecution style resonate with jurors, but her fashionable choice of a blue outfit caught the attention of social media influencers. Viral posts dubbed Plaskett ‘superwoman.’

In addition to lauding her clear, concise and compelling arguments they punctuated their comments by plastering the worldwide web with photo-shopped, accessorized images of the letter “S” emblazoned on her outfit in parody of the comic caped-crusader who fought to attain “truth, justice and the American way.”

The stakes were high, Plaskett’s team needed a two-thirds majority in order to convict the Florida-based ‘private citizen.’

The two-thirds majority proved unattainable.

Although seven Republicans recognized their moral obligation by voting the docket and not the jurisdiction or any other distracting aspect of the disturbing facts, history has recorded a first with a majority, bi-partisan impeachment effort.

In the end, the overwhelming evidence against citizen Trump did not matter.

On the eve of Valentine’s day, three days before Presidents’ Day, four days before Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday, five days before Ash Wednesday, a 57 to 43 vote acquitted the Republican leader.

Irrefutably, Plaskett’s message did not go unnoticed.

She made history as one of five territorial delegates.

Her colleagues included representatives from the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands with Puerto Rico represented by a commissioner.

She made history on the Senate floor when she became the first non-voting delegate to the US House of Representatives to serve as an impeachment manager.

Not unlike her namesake Stacey Abrams from Georgia — whose relentless pursuit for justice; and eloquence helped transform her state from red to blue — the USVI delegate presented indelibly damning images that may have been ignored by 43 Republicans and all the presidents’ men. But from polls and editorials in newspapers since the trial ended the verdict resonated with lethal imprint on the minds of a majority of the American public.

“We have proven our case,” Plaskett said, “we have done our duty Donald Trump is a disgrace.”

For more on this story go to: Caribbean Life

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