House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the formalization of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump Tuesday evening, saying “the president must be held accountable” for his “betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and the betrayal of the integrity of our elections.”
The speaker effectively endorsed the process, which to some degree has already been underway, after facing fresh pressure from inside the caucus to act publicly. The move could help Democrats’ disputed arguments in court that impeachment proceedings were in fact in progress, which could entitle Congress to obtain additional documents.
“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, referring to the Ukraine phone call allegation. “It’s really important to know this: There is no requirement that there be a quid-pro-quo in the conversation.”
“The president has committed several impeachable offenses,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters after Pelosi’s remarks on impeachment. In another indication that Democrats were apparently hedging their bets on the Ukraine matter, Ocasio-Cortez said alleged Emoluments Clause violations by the president could be included in prospective articles of impeachment.