Update: Pelosi announced Tuesday the start of an “official impeachment inquiry” into Trump.
Original story: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is reportedly set to announce an official impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Tuesday.
For months, the California Democrat has resisted calls from those in her caucus to impeach the president, signaling that this would only help Trump’s chances of getting re-elected in 2020.
Now, that appears to be changing.
House Democrats have been investigating Trump for months as part of their effort to prove he committed an impeachable offense.
Led by Chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, the House Judiciary Committee held what it referred to as an “impeachment hearing” last week, according to Politico. Pelosi reportedly criticized the probe’s handling of the matter and has said she doesn’t think House Democrats have the votes for impeachment.
But in recent days, Democrats have focused on a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump allegedly pressured Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden.
Previous media accounts have said Biden pressured Ukraine to dismiss a prosecutor who was investigating an energy company that paid Hunter Biden.
Calls for impeachment increased after The Washington Post linked the call to a July decision to temporarily withhold about $400 million in aid to Ukraine. The money was paid earlier this month.
This latest controversy may have done the trick.
“Very solid #Dem House leadership source just confirmed to me that @SpeakerPelosi will announce a formal impeachment inquiry this afternoon and imply that she herself favors impeachment of @realDonaldTrump,” NBC news analyst Howard Fineman tweeted Tuesday.
Very solid #Dem House leadership source just confirmed to me that @SpeakerPelosi will announce a formal impeachment inquiry this afternoon and imply that she herself favors impeachment of @realDonaldTrump.
— Howard Fineman (@howardfineman) September 24, 2019
Pelosi herself has yet to confirm this report.
However, she did tell an NBC reporter when asked about impeachment on Tuesday: “Later today I will make an announcement after I meet with my chairmen, my leadership and my caucus.”
BREAKING: Speaker Pelosi tells @AlexNBCNews when asked about impeachment: “Later today I will make an announcement after I meet with my chairmen, my leadership and my caucus.”
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 24, 2019
“House Dems will meet at 4 pm this afternoon,” New York Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, tweeted. “We will do our job #ImpeachmentInvestigation.”
House Dems will meet at 4 pm this afternoon.
The Constitution gives Congress the responsibility to rein in a lawless President.
We will do our job #ImpeachmentInvestigation.
— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) September 24, 2019
So what would a formal impeachment probe look like?
According to The Washington Post, Democrats could create a select committee to investigate Trump, thus taking the matter out of the Judiciary Committee’s hands. The New York Times also reported this was a possibility.
But Politico’s John Bresnahan later reported Pelosi would be taking a different path:
2 Dem sources are saying Pelosi has asked the the 6 cmte chairs (nto put together their best cases on impeachment & send that to Judiciary. Judiciary would package together & decide whether to send to the full House articles of impeachment.
— John Bresnahan (@BresPolitico) September 24, 2019
At least 158 members of the House have said they support opening an impeachment inquiry into Trump, The Times reported.
But the president, for his part, does not appear to be worried.
“I think it’s ridiculous. It’s a witch hunt. I’m leading in the polls. They have no idea how they stop me, the only way they can try is through impeachment,” Trump said as he arrived at the United Nations on Tuesday.
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