The House of Representatives will begin a formal impeachment inquiry of President Trump to probe accusations that he tried to convince the president of Ukraine to help dig up dirt on political rival Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday.
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“This week the president has admitted to asking the president of Ukraine to take actions that would benefit him politically,” Pelosi said. “The president must be held accountable, no one is above the law.”
Pelosi, D-California, added that Trump had betrayed his oath of office, U.S. national security and the integrity of U.S. elections.
Six committees will continue their investigations of impeachment as Democrats seek a copy of a whistleblower complaint regarding Trump's call with the foreign leader.
In response to the announcement, Trump said on Twitter that Democrats had ruined an otherwise “important day” at the United Nations.
In a statement, Trump's 2020 campaign called the impeachment strategy "misguided," adding that it would energize the president's supporters.
Earlier on Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden, who is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination in 2020, also called for the White House to turn over a copy of the whistleblower complaint to Congress. If Trump failed to comply with those requests, Biden said lawmakers would have no choice but to begin impeachment proceedings.
The controversy surrounds claims that President Trump asked the president of Ukraine to open an investigation into Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, in July.
Trump has admitted to holding a call and bringing up the Biden family.
He denies that there was any quid pro quo, referencing allegations he offered aid to the country in exchange for opening up the investigation.
Trump has also said he would release a transcript of the call, but Democrats want to see the whistleblower complaint.
A majority of Democrats in the House have voiced support for an impeachment inquiry. However, an impeachment vote is unlikely to pass in a Republican-controlled Senate.