Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi will not hold a full House vote for now to authorize a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, a congressional aide confirms to CNN, a step Republicans and defenders of the President have demanded.
Pelosi is not ruling it out, this source cautions, leaving her with the option to do so in the future, but is not moving on it right now. She delivered this message to her caucus in their ongoing closed door meeting this evening.
Multiple sources told CNN that there were disagreements among Pelosi’s team during the closed door meeting and among key committee chairs about whether to hold an impeachment inquiry vote — one reason why there will not be a vote as of now, multiple sources told CNN.
When asked at a news conference earlier Tuesday if she will hold a full House floor vote on authorizing the inquiry — as Republicans have called on her to do — Pelosi told reporters, “I’ll be talking about that later today after I meet with my colleagues.”
Pelosi is holding a news conference Tuesday evening after the caucus meeting where she was accompanied by Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat.
While leaving Pelosi’s office Tuesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and other Democrats said there has been no decision on holding an impeachment inquiry vote. Hoyer also said he didn’t believe a vote is necessary.
Pelosi’s comments came before a caucus meeting with Democratic lawmakers to discuss the impeachment inquiry Tuesday night.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn had been reaching out to Democratic lawmakers to see if there’s support to hold a formal vote authorizing an impeachment inquiry, a move that could blunt a key GOP attack but could be a risky for some vulnerable Democrats, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.
Pelosi has previously resisted a House vote but signaled she would think about it to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an interview earlier this month.
“If we want to do it, we’ll do it. If we don’t, we don’t. But we’re certainly not going to do it because of the President,” Pelosi told the paper. “It’s wrong for a person to ask a foreign government to interfere in our election, and the president is doing it in full view — and in defiance of what our Founders had in mind.”
Republicans have repeatedly demanded a vote to start the inquiry. During the Clinton and Nixon impeachment inquiries, the House passed inquiry resolutions to gain tools like more subpoena power and depositions, and included in those resolutions were nods to bipartisanship that gave the minority party subpoena power, too.
The impeachment inquiry is rooted in a whistleblower complaint alleging that Trump abused his official powers “to solicit interference” from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the upcoming 2020 election, and the White House took steps to cover it up. A transcript of the July phone conversation between the leaders released by the White House shows Trump repeatedly pushed Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.
Even before the whistleblower complaint was made available to lawmakers, Pelosi declared Trump had betrayed his oath of office and announced she was opening a formal impeachment inquiry into the President.