WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday the House will launch a formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump over allegations that he pressured the leader of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden's family.
Pelosi said the president's actions have "seriously violated the constitution."
"The president must be held accountable, no one is above the law," Pelosi said.
At a the announcement on Capitol Hill Tuesday Speaker Pelosi told the press, "I can say with authority that the Trump administration's actions undermine" whistleblower laws meant to protect them. Going on to say that U.S. president Donald Trump asked the president of Ukraine to do something that would help him politically.
Pelosi told the press, that she asked the House of Representatives for an official impeachment inquiry.
Pelosi had for months resisted calls to start the impeachment process. But the dynamic changed this week as more members of her caucus came out in support, including Democrats from swing districts.
Democrats are demanding information about whether Trump improperly pressured Ukraine's president to investigate Biden and his son, partly by withholding foreign aid. Trump insists he did nothing wrong and said he will release an unredacted transcript of a call with Ukraine's leader on Wednesday.
Trump is alleged to have pressured the government of Ukraine to look into former Vice President Joe Biden, one of the front-runners for the Democratic nomination.
President Donald Trump reacted to impeachment inquiry announcement on twitter after speaking at the United Nations.
Joe Biden's presidential campaign said Tuesday it will call for Congress to impeach Trump if the administration does not cooperate fully with all ongoing House investigations and subpoenas. Biden will speak this afternoon from his hometown in Wilmington, Delaware.
Georgia Rep. John Lewis has also endorsed impeachment proceedings in the House after withholding his opinion on the matter for several months.
Lewis said in a speech on the House floor Tuesday morning that "we cannot delay" and now is the time to act. His comments as Democrats have questioned whether President Donald Trump improperly used his office to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his son.
Lewis is one of the most influential Democrats in his caucus and an ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has so far discouraged impeachment. His comments come as several other Democrats endorsed proceedings Tuesday. Lewis said he's been "patient while we have tried every other path" and "the future of our democracy is at stake."