UPDATE: Speaker of House announces formal impeachment probe into Trump

Nancy Pelosi

On this Sept. 12, 2019, photo, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks at the Capitol in Washington. The good news is that it doesn’t look like a bitterly polarized Washington will stumble into another government shutdown. But as Democrats controlling the House unveil a stopgap, government-wide spending bill to keep the lights on and pay the troops, there’s scant evidence that power sharing in the U.S. Capitol will produce further legislative accomplishments anytime soon. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (WLNS/AP) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces that the House is moving forward with official impeachment inquiry, says ‘no one is above the law’

Pelosi announced the formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump just after 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

The probe will focus on reports that Trump pressed Ukraine’s president to help investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden.

President Trump’s actions have taken us to this moment where the opening of an impeachment inquiry is necessary to defend the rule of law. If the President of the United States used his office to pressure a foreign government to investigate a political opponent, it is unlawful and an abuse of power. In doing so, the President has put America’s national security at risk in order to advance his own narrow personal interests. Sadly, this is only the latest action by this President, who has regularly lied to the American people, obstructed both justice and congressional oversight and ignored the Constitution.

says Congressman Dan Kildee, Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, in a written statement

Given the deeply troubling allegations before us, the Administration must turn over the whistleblower complaint to Congress so we can evaluate the facts. As a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and now serving on Senate Armed Services Committee, I know there’s nothing more important than protecting our national security. I support the House taking actions that they deem necessary to get the facts and meet their constitutional oversight responsibility.

said U.S. Senator Gary Peters in a written statement to WLNS

Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats are now all in on impeaching President Trump. Their sole agenda is impeachment theater. These partisan tactics are destructive for the country and won’t make people’s lives any better. My focus will continue to be on serving and representing Michigan families who want to see Congress working on solutions to grow a healthy economy, make health care more affordable, and secure the border.

Congressman Tim Walberg said in a written statement to WLNS

The president tweeted within minutes of the announcement.

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.”

Just before Pelosi’s announcement, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck called for a resolution for the whistleblower complaint to be provided to Congress on the Senate floor.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, said Tuesday that the whistleblower wants to speak with the panel and could testify as soon as this week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement following Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry announcement

Trump has suggested he brought up Biden and his son Hunter in the phone call as part of discussions over corruption in Ukraine — despite no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of either man. He also confirmed on Tuesday that he ordered advisers to freeze the military aid to Ukraine in the days before the phone call, prompting Democrats to charge that he was holding out the money as leverage for information on Biden.

Trump has sought to implicate Biden and his son in the kind of corruption that has long plagued Ukraine. Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company at the same time his father was leading the Obama administration’s diplomatic dealings with Kyiv. Though the timing raised concerns among anti-corruption advocates, there has been no evidence of wrongdoing by either the former vice president or his son.

Biden said Congress must use its full constitutional authority to investigate Trump’s actions and if the president doesn’t cooperate he’ll leave lawmakers “with no choice but to initiate impeachment.” If that happens, Biden said, it will be a tragedy of Trump’s own making.

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