House Democrats elected New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler as their next leader on the Judiciary Committee, the panel that would potentially initiate impeachment proceedings against President Trump if Democrats win back the House, Politico reports. Nadler won a decisive victory over Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Ca.), 118-72, on Wednesday morning. Lofgren, a former immigration lawyer, is the second-most senior member on the panel behind Nadler. “This is a pivotal time, with our country possibly on the verge of a constitutional crisis,” Nadler said in a speech before the vote “We cannot afford to make this choice based on anything but who is the best person to sit in that chair.” Nadler succeeds John Conyers, who left the House after allegations of sexual harassment.
Several Democrats spoke favorably of Nadler, citing his knowledge of constitutional law and leadership on criminal justice reform. “They gave me a script. I don’t need a script, because I know the man. We are in a fight for the soul of our democracy,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee. “I can think of no one better to lead the House Democrats on the Judiciary Committee than Jerry Nadler.”