If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Democrats want the Trump administration's cooperation with their impeachment inquiry, they're going to have to vote to make it official.
That's the message the White House plans to send Pelosi in a letter, according to an Axios report, putting additional pressure on the House majority to fully commit to impeachment.
What's this about?
Democrats are in an "impeachment, but not quite" stage during which they intend to investigate potentially impeachable offenses by President Donald Trump to build a politically viable case to actually impeach.
Trump and his administration are of the opinion that they are under no obligation to assist with this effort unless the House actually votes on it.
Despite some signs of momentum for impeachment in Congress and among members of the public, there is still reason for some House Democrats to be hesitant about getting put on the record in favor of or against impeachment or an impeachment inquiry in a vote — particularly if they are vulnerable in 2020 because they represent more conservative districts.
Axios reported that the administration also believes that Republican congressmen can be more involved in the process if it becomes official.
When will this message be delivered?
The letter has not been signed and sent yet, as White House lawyers will want to be careful to review the language in case the letter ends up as part of a court proceeding down the road.
The report of the letter has already received a predictably dismissive response from one Democratic source, which told Fox News on Thursday that the White House needs to do better.
"As we continue to follow the facts, it would behoove the president to come up with something more persuasive than Kevin McCarthy's pathetic and bogus process arguments," the senior aide told Fox News.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) sent a letter to Pelosi earlier this week requesting assurances from Pelosi that due process would be followed in the impeachment inquiry and that Republicans would be given the right to be involved.