Oct 3, 2019

Pelosi responds to House GOP leader's call to suspend impeachment inquiry

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday responded to Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-Calif.) call to suspend the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, dismissing the top Republican's claim that an inquiry must be authorized by a full House vote.

"As you know, our Founders were specifically intent on ensuring that foreign entities did not undermine the integrity of our elections. I received your letter this morning shortly after the world witnessed President Trump on national television asking yet another foreign power to interfere in the upcoming 2020 elections."

Context: McCarthy wrote to Pelosi Thursday morning requesting that she publicly respond to a list of questions, including whether the full House will participate in each step of the inquiry and whether committee chairs and ranking members will receive co-equal subpoena power.

  • McCarthy is correct that the impeachment proceedings for both President Nixon and President Clinton began with a full House vote, as Lawfare explains.
  • He is also correct that in both cases, the impeachment resolutions allowed subpoenas to be authorized jointly by both the chair and ranking member. If one declined, the other could put it to a full committee vote — in which case the majority would likely win out.
  • However, there is no constitutional requirement for these standards, and House rules regarding impeachment are mostly based on precedence and past impeachment proceedings.

The big picture: It's clear that Pelosi has no intention of suspending the impeachment inquiry or involving Republicans in the investigation, especially considering that she already has the 218 Democratic votes that would be necessary in a House floor vote.

  • The pace and scope of the impeachment inquiry is also likely to increase after Trump called on Thursday for China to investigate Joe Biden, prompting widespread fury from Democrats.

Go deeper: Schiff condemns Trump's call for China to investigate Bidens as "repugnant"

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Scoop: Trump letter dares Pelosi to hold vote on impeachment inquiry

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The White House is planning to send Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter as soon as Friday arguing that President Trump and his team can ignore lawmakers' demands until she holds a full House vote formally approving an impeachment inquiry, 2 sources familiar with the letter tell Axios.

Why it matters: By putting in writing the case that Trump and his supporters have been making verbally for days, the White House is preparing for a court fight and arguing to the public that its resistance to Congress' requests is justified.

Go deeperArrowOct 3, 2019

House plans to formalize impeachment procedures this week

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House will vote on a resolution Thursday that will formalize procedures for the next phase of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed on Monday.

Why it matters: Trump and his allies have argued that the current impeachment inquiry is unconstitutional because it hasn't been voted on by the full House — a claim that Pelosi and Democratic leaders have called baseless. However, in a letter to House Democrats Monday, Pelosi wrote that members will vote in order 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."

Go deeperArrowOct 28, 2019

House votes to formalize Trump impeachment inquiry procedures

Photos: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images; Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images; Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House passed a resolution Thursday to formalize the procedures in President Trump's impeachment inquiry in a 232-196 vote that fell largely along party lines.

Why it matters: Trump and his allies have previously argued that the lack of a full House vote was against longstanding precedent — and used that reasoning to be uncooperative with Democrats' investigation.

Go deeperArrowOct 31, 2019