After many months of delays and excuses, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has announced that an impeachment inquiry will begin against Donald Trump in the House of Representatives.
“Today, I’m announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. I’m directing our six committees to proceed with their investigations under that umbrella,” said Pelosi in her address. “The president must be held accountable.”
Nancy Pelosi just announced a formal impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump.— jordan (@JordanUhl) September 24, 2019
"The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law." pic.twitter.com/vwZDnOsBsu
This comes after a morning full of Democrats declaring their support for impeachment, including senior Representative John Lewis, who gave a hard-hitting speech saying that any further delay would “betray the foundation of our democracy.”
BREAKING: Rep Andy Kim backs impeachment. That’s 177 Members of the House. We are 100% sure of that number.— Scott Dworkin (@funder) September 24, 2019
This surge in support was largely the result of the unfolding Ukraine bribery scandal in which a whistleblower complaint led to allegations that Trump had bribed Ukraine officials with the promise to restore aid funds to the country if they dug up dirt on Joe Biden.
Some of the more progressive members of the House are concerned that an inquiry into the possibility of impeachment rather than going right into launching impeachment proceedings represent a dangerous delay during an urgent time.
Yes, this is an emergency. We don’t have the luxury of time w/ another committee.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 24, 2019
Judiciary has been investigating& putting the pieces together for months. Impeachment belongs there.
We must honor jurisdiction, historical precedent,& work done + allow Judiciary to move forward. https://t.co/CM0gXN7T1i
Others believe that impeachment needs to be a part of a careful strategy as the 2020 election approaches, especially since Trump’s removal from office via Senate conviction is viewed as an impossibility while the Republicans maintain control.
1. Impeachment overturns/preempts elections. It should be approached carefully and reluctantly.— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) September 24, 2019
2. Impeachment can't be impossible. It's necessary in our system.
Pelosi and House Dems have done a good job signaling #1. But now they need to show the reality isn't #2.
As calls for impeachment ramped up today and news outlets confirmed that Nancy Pelosi would be making an announcement on the subject, Trump tweeted that he would release the full transcript of his phone conversation with Ukraine officials in which he allegedly offered a bribe. Some are speculating that the provided transcript will be altered to favor the President and that this is a sign that he is feeling a wee bit nervous right now.
As an NSA trained expert in communications intelligence I know that an exact copy transcript/notes can be twisted & misconstrued without the context & opinions of the #Whistleblower. @MichaelCohen212 said Trump always gives nonspecific mob boss threats. #ReleasetheAudio if any. https://t.co/PdvmwGUr0u— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) September 24, 2019
There are those who hope impeachment proceedings and investigations will be about more than the Ukraine scandal, pointing out that concerns about Trump’s possible violation of the Emoluments Clause have been brewing for years.
Trump has been committing impeachable offenses since Jan 2017. They are severe and the refusal of Congress to act earlier hurt this country.— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) September 24, 2019
Do not rest impeachment on one whistleblower or a (likely doctored) transcript. You've had the facts the whole time. Americans lived them.
The Trump administration has so far refused to release the full text of the whistleblower complaint to Congress, which may be an illegal act and another motivation for Democrats to impeach. Even Republican Mitt Romney urged Trump to release the full complaint, warning that if he doesn’t, “it will be up to the House to decide how to proceed.”
NEWS: Sen. Mitt Romney tells me Trump “should make available the whistleblower complaint that has been deemed to be credible and urgent. I think it'd be very helpful to get the bottom of the facts. If they don't, it will be up to the House to decide how to proceed.”— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) September 23, 2019
Meanwhile, multiple sources are reporting that the whistleblower wants to testify on the complaint before the House.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is preparing to announce formal impeachment inquiry today— Matt Viser (@mviser) September 24, 2019
President Trump is preparing to release transcript of call with Ukrainian president tomorrow
Whistleblower is preparing to testify before House Intelligence Committee as early as this week.
All in all, this is likely a stressful week for Donald Trump—and it’s only Tuesday.