As expected, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday announced that House Democrats will launch a formal impeachment inquiry following President Trump's Ukraine phone call controversy, CNN reports. The announcement came after her closed-door all-caucus meeting. "The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law," she told reporters. Trump was quick to respond on Twitter:
- 5:08pm: "Such an important day at the United Nations, so much work and so much success, and the Democrats purposely had to ruin and demean it with more breaking news Witch Hunt garbage. So bad for our Country!"
- 5:11pm: "Pelosi, Nadler, Schiff and, of course, Maxine Waters! Can you believe this?"
- 5:14pm: "They never even saw the transcript of the call. A total Witch Hunt!"
- 5:17pm: "PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!"
- 5:32pm: A video of Trump using the Democrats' focus on impeachment to ask for support from his base.
- He later tweeted reiterating his promise to release the transcript of the phone call; more on that here.
- Trump's 2020 campaign manager: He tweeted, "Democrats have officially paved the way for a @realDonaldTrump landslide victory. The witch-hunt continues..." alongside the official campaign statement on the matter: "Democrats can't beat President Trump on his policies or his stellar record of accomplishment, so they're trying to turn a Joe Biden scandal into a Trump problem. The misguided Democrat impeachment strategy is meant to appease their rabid, extreme, leftist base, but will only serve to embolden and energize President Trump's supporters."
- The White House: Press secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a statement accusing House Democrats of destroying "any chances of legislative progress for the people of this country by continuing to focus all their energy on partisan political attacks. Their attacks on the President and his agenda are not only partisan and pathetic, they are in dereliction of their Constitutional duty."
- House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy: "Speaker Pelosi happens to be the speaker of this House but she does not speak for America when it comes to this issue," he told reporters. "She cannot decide unilaterally what happens here. They have been investigating this President before he even got elected."
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: "Washington Democrats have been searching for ways to reverse their 2016 election defeat since before President Trump was even inaugurated. The result has been a two-and-a-half-year impeachment parade in search of a rationale. When investigations by Special Counsel Mueller and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence deflated their breathless accusations of a campaign conspiracy with Russia, Democrats have simply shifted to new arguments for their predetermined conclusion," he said in a statement. The inquiry "simply confirms that House Democrats’ priority is not making life better for the American people but their nearly three-year-old fixation on impeachment."
has more reactions, including many from 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. And the Guardian
has more on the impeachment process and what's next; Trump is the fourth US president to face an impeachment inquiry.
(For more on Trump's promise to release the phone call transcript, click here
; the White House will also reportedly release the whistleblower complaint to Congress
. For more on the lead-up to the impeachment inquiry announcement, click here