Ahead of the Democratic debate on Tuesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she would hold off on having a full House vote to authorize a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
Republicans have pushed Pelosi to hold a formal vote in the House. Doing so would give the White House the ability to subpoena their own witnesses. The Speaker, however, said a formal vote isn't required for Democrats to continue with their probe.
According to Pelosi, Trump violated the Emoluments Clause by allowing foreign governments to interfere in the American government and elections.
"Our founders had a very deep suspicion of foreigners interfering in our government, and again, in our elections, and the Emoluments Clause was put there specifically for that purpose, to protect us from any influence of foreign governments," Pelosi said. "So the fact that we would be here and in inquiry that relates to the president asking a foreign government to help the president in his re-election by withholding the timing of military assistance that had been voted on by the Congress, is just – it has so many violations in it."
According to the Speaker, Trump's so-called "violations" undermine America's national security.
"All roads seem to lead to Putin with the president. Isn't it so?" Pelosi asked.
"And then when we talk about undermining the integrity of our elections, that's wrong. And when you're talking about violating the president's oath of office to protect, defend and preserve the Constitution of the United States to the best of his ability – to the best of his ability. Well, we'll go with that," she said with a sarcastic snicker and laugh.
"Just had a meeting with our caucus to bring up-to-date where we are with our legislative agenda. We're legislating, we're litigating and we're investigating," she said during her press conference.
Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump over a phone call he made with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In the phone call, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate the Bidens. While Vice President Joe Biden was handling international relations with Ukraine on behalf of the Obama administration, his son, Hunter, was being paid $50,000 a month by a Ukrainian oil company, despite having no natural energy experience. Democrats claimed Trump threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine if Zelensky failed to investigate the Bidens.
Pelosi announced the Democrats intent to launch an impeachment inquiry the night before Trump was set to release the full unclassified, unredacted transcript of his call with Zelensky. When the transcript was released, no pro quid pro was found and the Democrats' claim was demolished.