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Pelosi announces House won't vote 'at this time' on authorizing impeachment inquiry

The speaker insists, 'There's no requirement that we have a vote.'

Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Tuesday evening that the lower chamber will continue to hold off on taking an actual vote on whether to launch formal impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

What are the details?

"There's no requirement that we have a vote, and so at this time we will not be having a vote," Pelosi told reporters following a meeting with the House Democratic caucus. "We're not here to call bluffs — we're here to find the truth, to uphold the Constitution of the United States. This is not a game for us. This is deadly serious."

Fox News reported that one congressional aide privy to the closed-door discussions claimed Democrats do not want to appear to be bending to the Trump administration's demands, after the White House informed the House last week that it would not cooperate with Democrats' ongoing probe because — among other things — the lower chamber had not held a floor vote on whether to authorize the proceedings.

In an 8-page letter to Pelosi and other top Democrats, Counsel to the President Pat Cipollone wrote, "In the history of our nation, the House of Representatives has never attempted to launch an impeachment inquiry against the president without a majority of the House taking political accountability for that decision by voting to authorize such a dramatic constitutional step."

Anything else?

Pelosi's announcement came hours after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) criticized House Democrats for abandoning due process.

In a speech from the Senate floor, McConnell said, "House Democrats are finally indulging in their three-year-old impeachment obsession, full steam ahead." The majority leader went on to remind his colleagues that some Democrats had declared their plans to impeach President Trump before he was even inaugurated.

"I don't think many of us were expecting to witness a clinic in terms of fairness or due process," McConnell continued, "but even by their own partisan standards, House Democrats have already found new ways to lower the bar."

He added, "For all the public hyperventilating over institutional norms that we've heard from House Democrats, it appears they have no intention of letting norms, precedents or basic due process stand in the way as they seek to cancel out a presidency."


One last thing…
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