Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump Tuesday afternoon.
This comes following reports that Trump may have pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate former vice president and potential 2020 campaign rival Joe Biden and his son's business dealings in that country.
"The actions of the Trump presidency revealed the dishonorable fact of the President's betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections," Pelosi said in a brief speech in the Capitol. "Therefore, today, I am announcing the House of Representatives moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry."
"The President must be held accountable. No one is above the law," she said.
She also said: "In 1787, when our Constitution was adopted, Americans gathered...to await news of a gov't our founders had crafted. They asked Benjamin Franklin, 'What do we have? A republic or a monarchy?' He replied, 'A republic, if you can keep it.' Our responsibility is to keep it."
Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the whistleblower who first brought the Ukraine issue into the news wants to testify before Congress. The president tweeted earlier on Tuesday afternoon that he planned to release an unredacted transcript of the phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president.
"We have been informed by the whistleblower’s counsel that their client would like to speak to our committee and has requested guidance from the Acting DNI as to how to do so," Schiff tweeted. "We‘re in touch with counsel and look forward to the whistleblower’s testimony as soon as this week."
Pelosi hinted that she would open the impeachment inquiry at an event hosted by Atlantic Magazine on Tuesday, where she said: "As soon as we have the facts, we’re ready. Now we have the facts. We’re ready. For later today."
"We have many other, shall we say, candidates for impeachable offenses in terms of the Constitution, but this one is the most understandable by the public," Pelosi said about the accusation that Trump tried to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden.
The president responded immediately on Twitter:
Such an important day at the United Nations, so much work and so much success, and the Democrats purposely had to ruin and demean it with more breaking news Witch Hunt garbage. So bad for our Country!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2019
Pelosi, Nadler, Schiff and, of course, Maxine Waters! Can you believe this?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2019
They never even saw the transcript of the call. A total Witch Hunt!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2019