House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday announced an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, amid a growing drumbeat of criticism following reports that Trump pressed Ukraine’s president to investigate Joe Biden and his son.
“The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law,” said Pelosi, a California Democrat.
Speaking on Capitol Hill, Pelosi said “the actions of the Trump presidency revealed the dishonorable fact of the president’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.”
Earlier Tuesday, Trump said on Twitter he approved a Wednesday release of a transcript of the July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. However, Democrats are seeking the details of a whistleblower complaint that deals with the Zelensky call. Pelosi demanded it be turned over to Congress by the acting director of national intelligence.
“He will have to choose whether to break the law or honor his responsibility to the Constitution,” Pelosi said about acting DNI Joseph McGuire.
Trump blasted the impeachment move in a tweet moments after Pelosi finished speaking, saying “So bad for our Country!”
Speaking in New York at the United Nations Trump told reporters he withheld aid to Ukraine, but that the move wasn’t used as leverage.
“There was no quid pro quo,” Trump said. “There was no pressure applied, nothing.”
Pelosi has previously been reluctant to back impeachment, saying she preferred for Trump to be defeated in the 2020 election. She said she is directing the House committees already probing Trump to continue doing so under the “umbrella of impeachment inquiry.”
Even if Trump were impeached by the House, a trial could be held in the Senate. With the Senate in Republican control, a case could be dismissed immediately.
More than half of the House’s 235 Democrats support an impeachment investigation. However, that isn’t enough for impeachment, which requires a simple majority of the entire House.
closed lower on Tuesday, amid reports that Pelosi would announce the impeachment inquiry.