House Speaker Pelosi to announce formal impeachment inquiry of Trump

BREAKING: The announcement later Tuesday from Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) comes amid reports that President Trump may have pressured a foreign leader to investigate former vice president and potential 2020 campaign rival Joe Biden and his family.

A growing number of House Democrats are backing an impeachment inquiry as momentum shifts in the Democratic caucus.

Democratic officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly, said she would back the step.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats are privately discussing the creation of a select committee to conduct the possible impeachment of President Trump, according to multiple lawmakers and congressional aides, underscoring the momentum among Democrats to try to oust the president.

The California Democrat has spoken to key allies in recent days about establishing a special panel rather than leaving the task with the House Judiciary Committee, said several Democratic officials. Nothing has been decided, the individuals cautioned, but some members are expected to publicly endorse the move soon.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely describe private deliberations. Pelosi’s office declined to comment on the matter.

The conversations, while tentative, underscore the serious shift in Pelosi’s thinking about impeachment in recent days. Pelosi has been reluctant to endorse impeachment, resisting the extraordinary step for months despite pressure from the party’s liberal base and several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. She has argued that neither the public nor the Republican Party, which controls the Senate, supports impeachment and that could prove politically costly to the moderate Democrats who helped deliver the House majority last year.

Recent reports, however, that Trump may have used his power to pressure a foreign leader to investigate a domestic political foe, former vice president Joe Biden and his family, have galvanized the push for impeachment. In the past few days, Pelosi has been sounding out Democrats about whether to proceed on impeachment. She also intends to make a statement on the matter on Tuesday, she told reporters.

Trump, meanwhile, has denied that he used foreign aid as leverage, though he did confirm Tuesday that he withheld assistance to Ukraine.

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