After hesitating to pull the trigger for months, this afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced plans to launch a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
“The actions taken to date by the president have seriously violated the Constitution, especially when the president says, ‘Article two says I can do whatever I want,” she said. “… the president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.”
This news comes at the heels of Trump’s ties to Ukraine and a call with the country’s president that involved a push by Trump to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, as well as a larger complaint from a whistleblower. (As CNN notes, the whistleblower has already agreed to testify at an unknown date, but could be as early as this week.)
While Trump has agreed to release a transcript of the call earlier today, it apparently hasn’t stopped Pelosi from moving forward with the inquiry.
If you want to watch the speech in its entirety, CNN has it up on YouTube.
But several steps would have to happen for impeachment to happen. In short, it would likely involve an investigation by a House committee who will decide on articles of impeachment. This is followed by a vote by that committee and an overall House vote on those articles. “When the full House votes on articles of impeachment, if at least one gets a majority vote, the president is impeached—which is essentially the equivalent of being indicted,” NYT writes.
This is followed by both a Senate trial and vote. To reach a two-thirds majority, the Senate would have to rely on 20 Republican votes for conviction, according to CNN—which probably won’t come easy. Meanwhile, as of the publishing of this story, 163 House Democrats support the impeachment inquiry so far.