Jerry Nadler: impeachment prosecutor a decades-old Trump foe
Of the seven Democratic legislators set to lead the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, there is one who undeniably knows the US president best: fellow New Yorker Jerry Nadler.
As chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee, the veteran congressman led the drafting of the two articles of impeachment against Trump -- abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
But Nadler has been a thorn in the side of the former real estate tycoon for much longer.
The pair have feuded for over 30 years, with the animosity between them deepening further since Trump was elected to the White House in 2016.
At 72, Brooklyn native Nadler is a year younger than his nemesis from the neighboring borough of Queens.
The duo first came to loggerheads in the 1980s when Nadler, representing Manhattan's affluent Upper West Side in the state legislature, opposed a huge Trump development that would transform the historic district.
The project on the site of a dilapidated railroad yard originally envisaged a 150-story skyscraper, the world's tallest, with Trump occupying the lavish penthouse.
But opposition from residents led in part by Nadler forced the real estate magnate to substantially revise his ambitions.
When Nadler gained a seat in Congress in 1992, he continued to pressure Trump, successfully suppressing the use of federal funds in support of the project.
- Increasing animosity -
In a book published in 2000, "The America We Deserve," Trump took his revenge, singling out Nadler as "one of the most egregious hacks in contemporary politics."
Nadler refused to participate in Trump's presidential inauguration, accusing him of "offensive and abusive behavior to women and minorities" and dodgy business practises.
In January 2019, when Nadler became Judiciary chairman, he put the billionaire president directly in his sights.
He launched an investigation into alleged obstruction of justice and abuse of office by Trump, demanding documents from 81 people, companies and institutions in the president's inner circle.
Afterwards, Trump took to Twitter to recall their first real estate battle, claiming he had won it and suggesting their feud may be permanent.
"I changed course (slightly), became President, and now I am dealing with Congressman Nadler again," he tweeted.
"Some things never end, but hopefully it will all go well for everyone. Only time will tell!"
Nadler then initiated contempt proceedings against Attorney General William Barr for refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents related to special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian election interference.
A defiant Trump punched back, using his executive privilege to throw a blanket of secrecy over material related to Mueller's probe.
Trump has attacked Nadler over his weight, once telling the politician he should "lose 200 pounds" (90 kilograms).
Nadler underwent stomach reduction surgery in the early 2000s and radically changed his diet. He shed pounds but remains stocky for his five-foot, four-inch (1.63-meter) frame.
- 'Fat Jerry' -
Trump, who has himself been ruled clinically obese, has continued the assault, branding Nadler "Fat Jerry" in a March 2019 meeting with Republicans, according to The Washington Post.
Nadler, a staunch defender of civil and LGBTQ rights and of public transport, appears to wear Trump's contempt towards him as a badge of honor.
In December 2017, as he eyed the top spot on the House Judiciary Committee, Nadler reportedly boasted that he was best positioned to lead impeachment proceedings against Trump.
He had hoped that Mueller's investigation would lead to moves to remove Trump from office.
But Mueller, while not exonerating Trump of obstruction of the Russia election meddling investigation, refrained from accusing him of committing a crime.
Nadler's dream was merely postponed, however.
In September, House Democrats opened an impeachment investigation after information came to light that Trump pressure Ukraine to investigate the son of his likely presidential rival Joe Biden.
The House impeached Trump in December.
This week, speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that Nadler would be one of prosecutors in the Senate trial, which is expected to exonerate Trump.
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