WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Tuesday, following reports that Trump may have sought a foreign government’s help in his reelection bid.
“The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law,” Pelosi said.
The announcement came after mounting pressure from Democratic lawmakers
The decision sets up an election season clash between Trump and Congress that seems certain to exacerbate the nation’s fierce partisan divides and inject deep uncertainty into the 2020 presidential contest.
Pelosi was huddling with her caucus Tuesday afternoon and planned to announce the impeachment probe in a statement following the meeting. Her plans were confirmed by a person familiar with her thinking, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Pelosi has spent months trying to keep an impeachment inquiry at bay. But her position became untenable this week as more members — including crucial moderates in political swing districts — swung in favor of a probe following reports that Trump pushed Ukraine’s leader for help investigating Democrat Joe Biden and his son during a summer phone call.
Trump said he had authorized the release of a transcript of the call on Wednesday.
“You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call,” Trump said.
Immediately after the announcement, Trump tweeted: “Such an important day at the United Nations, so much work and so much success, and the Democrats purposely had to ruin and demean it with more breaking news Witch Hunt garbage. So bad for our Country!”
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis) issued a statement commending Pelosi.
“We will thoroughly investigate the President’s conduct and pursue the facts. We are a nation of laws and no one is above the law,” Cohen said.