After the House of Representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump, the trial now moves to the Senate, where a final judgment on the President will be made. When the trial begins on Tuesday, the appointed House Impeachment Managers will present their case to Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the trial.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently announced the seven impeachment managers who will take lead for the Democrats, an impressive list that includes veteran California Rep. Zoe Lofgren.
Led by House Intelligence chair Adam Schiff (Calif.), Susan Ellen “Zoe” Lofgren, 72, who’s now serving her 13th term in Congress, will be joined by Rep. Jerry Nadler (N.Y.), Rep. Jason Crow (Colo.), Rep. Sylvia Garcia (Texas), Rep. Val Demings (Fla.), and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.).
Here’s what you need to know about Zoe Lofgren:
1. Lofgren, the Daughter Of A Beer Truck Driver & School Cafeteria Worker, Attended Stanford On a Full Scholarship
According to her Congressional bio, the long-serving representative of the 19th District of California was born on December 21, 1947, in San Mateo. Raised by her parents, a truck driver and a cafeteria cook, Lofgren attended public school and worked night shifts at the Eastman Kodak plant in Palo Alto to raise enough money to go to college. However, she ended up earning a California State Scholarship to attend Stanford University, where she received her bachelor’s in political science.
After earning another scholarship, Lofgren graduated cum laude from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1975. Prior to graduation, Lofgren had already jumpstarted her career in public service. From 1970 to 1978, she traveled between Washington, D.C., and San Jose as a staff member to Congressman Don Edwards.
In 1978, Lofgren became a partner in Webber & Lofgren, where she worked for two years. In 1980, Lofgren was elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, a position she held for 14 years before Edwards announced his retirement following 32 years in Congress. In 1994, Lofgren was elected to take his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she continues to serve today.
2. Lofgren Has Been Married to Husband John Marshall Collins Since 1978
In a Politico article detailing power couples in 2009, Lofgren recalled the first time she met the man who would become her husband. “We met at an election party of a candidate who lost,” Lofgren said. “At least something good came out of his failed candidacy!” The couple will celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary in 2020.
Like his wife, Collins is also an attorney and a California native. He earned his BA in political science at UCLA before earning his Juris Doctorate at UCLA’s School of Law. Collins has been the sole practitioner of John Marshall Collins, PC for 43 years. According to his LinkedIn profile, he also works as an adjunct law professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, where he has taught real estate transactional law since 2009.
3. Lofgren Returned To Work One Week After Giving Birth To Her First Child
In addition to serving over two decades in Congress, Lofgren also raised two children with Collins. They have a daughter, Sheila, and son, John, who are both now grown adults with children of their own.
In a 2014 interview with The Guardian, Lofgren said that with the help of her own mother, she went back to work one week after giving birth to Shiela. “My mother would be [upstairs] with the baby and she would call down saying, ‘Sheila needs feeding.’ While it was a lot to handle, Lofgren added, “it wasn’t as if I was the only person to juggle motherhood with work.”
4. Lofgren Worked on the Clinton Impeachment Trial & the Nixon Impeachment Inquiry
Lofgren was a member of the House Judiciary Committee in 1998 during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, when he was accused of lying about having an affair with a White House intern. While Lofgren said Clinton behaved improperly, she did not believe that his actions fell under “high crimes and misdemeanor [behavior] that really undercuts the system of the Constitution and the government.”
When Lofgren was still a law student in 1974 and working on Congressman Edwards’ staff, she helped the committee draft up the charges against President Richard Nixon during Watergate.
Like Pelosi, Lofgren was also hesitant to call for impeachment for Donald Trump during Robert Mueller’s investigation. Fully relying on his report is something the congresswoman admittedly regrets. “In retrospect, it probably was a mistake,” she admitted to The New York Times in December 2019.
5. Lofgren Is Best Known for Her Moderate, Unemotional Behavior
In a world where politicians on both sides seem to try to get their point across by yelling the loudest, Lofgren remains focused on facts and presenting solid evidence over courtroom theatrics. Even though she’s a senior member of the Democratic House Managers, she prides herself on being able to work with both parties.
In late October, Lofgren successfully got a bipartisan vote to pass her Farm Workforce Modernization Act.