House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held out as long as she could before making what, at the time, seemed like a rather startling announcement regarding the honest-to-God beginning of a “formal impeachment inquiry”.
Now, after several weeks of this progressive slog, it turns out that this is nothing more than a snarling, teeth-baring version of the work having previously been undertaken by folks such as House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler.
In fact, the process is so convoluted and clandestine that the White House has been forced into a stance of non-cooperation until such a time as The House votes to make the investigation official. Without such a vote, those who stand accused have no recourse and no avenue through which to defend themselves.
Now, as the inquiry grows ever quicker, that vote looks to be back on the table.
House Democrats are gauging support for a vote to formally authorize the impeachment inquiry as another official testified Tuesday in the deepening probe of President Donald Trump’s efforts to have Ukraine investigate Joe Biden.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to meet privately with Democratic lawmakers later Tuesday to survey attitudes about a possible vote, according to people granted anonymity to discuss the planning.
Trump, who calls the impeachment inquiry an “illegitimate process,” has pressured Pelosi to take a formal vote. Republicans want to test politically vulnerable Democrats with a vote that could be difficult in areas where Trump remains popular. But Pelosi has so far resisted, saying Congress is well within its power to conduct oversight of the executive branch as part of the Constitution’s system of checks and balances, and no vote is needed.
The inquiry is moving quickly as a steady stream of officials, largely from the State Department, are appearing behind closed doors this week, some providing vivid details about the events surrounding the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in which Trump urged Zelenskiy to investigate a firm tied to political rival Joe Biden’s family and Ukraine’s own involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
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Pelosi and others had been holding out for as long as possible, hoping to drag this entire situation out as near to the 2020 election as possible, in hopes of undermining President Trump’s chances at reelection.
President Trump, backed by a Republican-controlled Senate, would much prefer a speedy impeachment attempt, which is likely to fail within the second chamber of Congress.
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