Pelosi announces impeachment inquiry into the president

The announcement follows months of mounting pressure from House Democrats and a whistleblower alert this week many saw as a breaking point. 

Andrew Harnik/AP
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reads a statement announcing a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, in Washington, Sept. 24, 2019.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched the House into a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump on Tuesday, acquiescing to mounting pressure from fellow Democrats and plunging a deeply divided nation into an election year clash between Congress and the commander in chief.

The probe centers on whether Trump abused his presidential powers and sought help from a foreign government for his reelection, actions Ms. Pelosi said would mark a “betrayal of his oath of office.” She said “no one is above the law” and that the president “must be held accountable.”

Ms. Pelosi had long resisted pursuing impeachment, but her caucus moved swiftly in favor of a probe in recent days following reports that Mr. Trump asked Ukraine’s president to investigate Democratic foe Joe Biden and his son. Her decision sets up her party’s most urgent and consequential confrontation with a president who thrives on combat, and it injects deep uncertainty in the 2020 White House race.

Mr. Trump, who was meeting with world leaders at the United Nations, called the impending inquiry a “witch hunt” and predicted it would be a “positive for me.”

This story was reported by The Associated Press.

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