For weeks now, House Democrats have been conducting what they are calling a “formal impeachment inquiry” into President Trump’s relationship with Ukraine.
Of course, the inquiry is anything but formal, due to the fact that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as refused to authorize the investigation via an official vote. As of right now, there is no discernible procedural distinction that differentiates this probe from the countless probes that have come before it.
All that will change on Thursday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday the House will vote this week on a resolution to formalize — and establish the parameters — of the Trump impeachment inquiry.
In a letter sent to Democratic House lawmakers, Pelosi, D-Calif., said the resolution “affirms the ongoing, existing investigation” and “establishes the procedure” for future investigative steps.
“We are taking this step to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives,” Pelosi said.
Fox News has learned the vote will take place Thursday on the House floor.
It is not an actual article of impeachment, but rather a resolution that sets process ground rules.
Not everyone was satisfied with this latest escalation, however.
Republicans hit back Monday at Pelosi over the planned vote, with South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham — the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which would play a role in a Senate impeachment trial — saying, “A vote now is a bit like un-ringing a bell as House Democrats have selectively leaked information in order to damage President Trump for weeks.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told Fox News: “What it authorizes is that we were right. You can’t go back now.”
The White House argued Monday that the move proves Democrats have been conducting an “unauthorized” inquiry.
“We won’t be able to comment fully until we see the actual text, but Speaker Pelosi is finally admitting what the rest of America already knew – that Democrats were conducting an unauthorized impeachment proceeding, refusing to give the President due process, and their secret, shady, closed-door depositions are completely and irreversibly illegitimate,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
President Trump and the White House have been reluctant to cooperate with Pelosi’s inquisition based on the absence of just such a vote.