Before they’ve even held an official vote to impeach President Donald Trump, more than a dozen House Democrats are looking ahead to a Senate trial, jockeying for a spot on the high-profile team of lawmakers that will formally present their case.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has the final say on who will represent Democrats as impeachment managers, the term used to describe the members who will make the case on the Senate floor. Sources tell ABC News interested candidates have been reaching out to the speaker and encouraged influential surrogates to lobby her on their behalf.
Some have even submitted letters to her office highlighting their credentials, including their relevant legal and professional experience.
Thirteen Republicans were selected to present and argue on behalf of the House during former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment in 1998. Democratic aides and lawmakers believe Pelosi is considering a smaller and more diverse group of managers for the upcoming trial.
"It’s important, particularly in this instance where we’re talking about something of consequence to the entire country, everybody in the country, each and every citizen, that they feel that they’re represented in this effort," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told ABC News about the selection process.
Pelosi’s office declined to comment.
While managers have traditionally come from the House Judiciary Committee, members of the House Intelligence Committee -- which led the initial Ukraine investigation that formed the foundation of Democrats’ charges against Trump – could also be considered.
Historically, management teams have included committee chairs and party leaders. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. -- who served as an impeachment manager in the 2010 Senate trial of a federal judge -- are considered top picks for the team, after working closely with Pelosi amid the House's impeachment inquiry proceedings.
They’ve also included lawyers with relevant experience. Schiff is a former federal prosecutor, as is Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., a member of both the Judiciary and Intelligence committees. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., is a former constitutional law professor. Both are seen by colleagues as potential managers.
Pelosi could also tap press-savvy Democrats with experience explaining the case against the president. Reps. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and David Cicilline, D-R.I., are members of the Judiciary Committee, and attorneys who have worked on party messaging around impeachment as members of Pelosi’s leadership team.
"You do need to tell a story to some degree," Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, a former trial lawyer and Clinton impeachment manager, told ABC News. "One that is convincing and persuasive."
To build a geographically diverse team, Pelosi could also elect to pull in Democrats from the South and Midwest, such as Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., a former Orlando police chief, or Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., who served as an assistant attorney general in the Illinois attorney general’s office.
The Democrats’ team could also include members from across the political spectrum: Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., a member of the Judiciary Committee, is a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., a senior member of the House Intelligence Committee, is a leader of the centrist New Democrat Coalition.
As speaker, Pelosi has elevated members of the freshman class to leadership positions, and could seek to represent some of the historic 2018 class in the impeachment trial. Many of the freshman Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, including Joe Neguse, D-Colo., and Madeline Dean, D-Penn., have impressed colleagues in the impeachment hearings.
Pelosi could also enlist veteran lawmakers whose experience could serve Democrats well in a Senate trial: Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, is on her third presidential impeachment, after serving as a committee aide during the Watergate scandal against former President Richard Nixon, and on the panel during Clinton’s impeachment.
If Pelosi knows who she’ll select for the job, she’s keeping it tightly held. Democrats and some members of her leadership team are still in the dark.
"When the time is right, you'll know who the people are," she told reporters Thursday.
While the House Democratic committee staff and lawyers who helped build the impeachment case are expected to play a major role in preparations for the Senate trial, Pelosi isn't expected to name any staff attorneys -- including Daniel Goldman, the Intelligence Commitee's director of investigations Norm Eisen or Barry Berke, the consulting counsels for the House Judiciary Committee -- to the team as managers.
She could announce the team of managers as early as next week, when the House is expected to take up the impeachment articles on the House floor.