Inside the Beltway

Caped Crusader 


Delegate Stacey Plaskett
Photo by Scott Applewhite/AP

At the beginning of former president Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial in February, most Americans didn’t know the name of the delegate who’s represented the Virgin Islands since 2014. But by the end of the week, it had become a household one. Stacey Plaskett, WCL/JD ’94, is now one “of the most recognizable and most admired Democrats of [her] political generation,” according to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

Plaskett couldn’t vote to impeach the 45th president for high crimes and misdemeanors—but the former Bronx prosecutor was among those handpicked by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to try and convict him. The first delegate from an American territory to serve as an impeachment manager, Plaskett was part of the diverse powerhouse team led by her former constitutional law professor, Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD).

“This is a moment of special pride for me,” the WCL professor emeritus said on February 10, before Plaskett took the floor. “I hope I’m not violating any federal education records laws when I say she was an A student then and she is an A+ student now.”

She lived up to her reputation, methodically walking senators through the events of January 6 and poignantly narrating chilling, never-before-seen footage of those very same lawmakers running for their lives as insurrectionists overran the Capitol. 

Later in the trial, Plaskett also delivered a rebuke of the defense’s video of myriad Democrats urging supporters to “fight” for a policy or issue to justify Trump’s incendiary use of the same word.

“It’s not lost on me that so many of them were people of color and women. Black women. Black women like myself who are sick and tired of being sick and tired for our children, your children,” said the mother of five. 

Though Trump was acquitted on the sole charge of incitement of insurrection, the 57–43 vote was the most bipartisan ever. It also signals more history in the making, as some Democrats are looking to Plaskett and fellow House manager, 36-year-old Representative Joe Neguse (D-CO), to usher in a new era for the party—one that’s younger and more diverse.

Plaskett’s new legion of fans on social media agree. Awed and empowered by her commanding performance, they photoshopped Superman’s shield on the blue caped dress she wore for opening arguments.

“S is for slay,” said one person of the bold letter.

Or maybe it’s for Stacey.