House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Monday what Republicans have demanded for weeks: A formal vote on the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
In a letter to the Democratic caucus, Pelosi said the House would vote on a resolution "that affirms the ongoing, existing investigation that is currently being conducted by our committees as part of this impeachment inquiry, including all requests for documents, subpoenas for records and testimony, and any other investigative steps previously taken or to be taken as part of this investigation."
Pelosi indicated that the resolution is purely procedural and will establish the framework for how the impeachment probe will proceed.
However, just a few hours after the announcement, Pelosi denied that the resolution has anything to do with the Democrat-led impeachment proceedings against the president.
When asked by an NBC reporter about the vote, Pelosi responded, "it's not an impeachment resolution."
Speaker Pelosi, asked by @AlexNBCNews to comment on the impeachment resolution: “It’s not an impeachment resolutio… https://t.co/Myo1ogUdxV— Rebecca Kaplan (@Rebecca Kaplan)1572298711.0
It is not clear, then, whether the resolution will serve any legitimate purpose or if the planned formal vote is meant for theatrics only.
Pelosi said in her letter that the resolution would serve notice to the White House that it must comply with the investigation. White House lawyer Pat Cipollone informed Congress in early October that the White House would not cooperate with the "illegitimate" proceedings.
Both Democrats and Republicans have pressured Pelosi to hold a formal vote on the impeachment inquiry. Democrats want to establish the credibility of the probe, while Republicans have done so because they believe a formal vote will expose the current impeachment proceedings as a sham.
Just two weeks ago, Pelosi rebuffed demands for a formal vote.
"There's no requirement that we have a vote," she said on Oct. 15. "We're not here to call bluffs. We're here to find the truth to uphold the Constitution of the United States."