Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, who represents Brooklyn and Queens in New York City, is also one of the seven house impeachment managers for the trial taking place in the U.S Senate chamber.
At the beginning of a long afternoon session on Day #3 of the trial, Rep. Jeffries took his turn as a presenter, and opened by telling of being approached earlier that day by a fellow New Yorker. The man asked the congressman if he had heard about the “latest outrage.” Rep. Jeffries, his mind clearly in the impeachment zone, struggled to figure out exactly to what this man was referring, so he asked for more information.
The answer: “Someone voted against Derek Jeter on the Hall of Fame ballot!” Indeed, out of nearly 400 votes cast for baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2020, only one — currently unidentified—writer left Jeter off this list. It took a moment for people to realize Jeffries was telling a joke, and then they laughed.
He continued to his audience: “…certainly we hope we can subpoena John Bolton, subpoena Mick Mulvaney, but perhaps we can all agree to subpoena the Baseball Hall of Fame,” Jeffries joked. It was a well-time and well-placed moment of levity, and a great example of how humor can help a presenter diffuse tension.
[Closed circuit to the baseball writer who left Jeter off their Hall of Fame ballot: If you accepted the responsibility to cast your ballot, you should have the courage to stand up for your decision.]
[Closed circuit to Derek Jeter: Congrats on getting elected to the HOF. You were an amazing ballplayer, a prototype of a great team captain, and a legendary Sox-killer who played the game like a gentleman and a champion. Have fun in Cooperstown!]