Q&A – Is the House’s “Formal” Impeachment Inquiry Constitutional?

Today’s entry - Am I hearing correctly that the constitution requires the House to vote on whether a president can be investigated for impeachment proceedings? So, does that mean that Nancy Pelosi has unilaterally decided that an investigation into the president should take place? Doesn't that place her in violation of the Constitutional requirements?

Bottom Line: In the grand scheme of the convoluted mess of an effort to impeach President Trump that’s led from the failed and bogus 2+ year narrative of Russian collusion and has now led us to a Ukrainian phone call, is this important detail you’re asking. Based on my due diligence this is sleight of hand by Nancy Pelosi, magicians work if you will. It appears as though she planned for this day. This is another case of what the definition of is, is

Nancy Pelosi said it’s a “formal” impeachment inquiry but her saying it’s formal and it being formal are two different things. The United States House of Representatives has constitutional oversight of the executive branch under the balance of powers provisions in the constitution. Multiple committees play specific roles in the oversight process. Six have already been regularly investigating various matters pertaining to President Trump, with regular subpoenas for information pertaining to matters involving him. They’re able to do so without a full vote of the House to formally open these investigations because the full House already did so. In January. 

The United States Constitution does require the House of Representatives to vote to approve oversight matters including impeachment proceedings. It is true that the full House of Representatives voted to formally proceed with impeachment inquires of Presidents Nixon and Clinton. But guess what, the House already voted for the current inquiry into President Trump. Just not so explicitly. 

In January, when Democrats assumed control of the House of Representatives and Nancy Pelosi was voted Speaker for the 116th term, they approved the rules for the term, as every Congress does. Among them were expanded subpoena powers by House oversight committees. With those expanded subpoena powers, the House committees can access the information needed for an impeachment inquiry without voting explicitly to open one against President Trump. It’s clear that Pelosi saw the potential for this day coming and strategically hedged her bets at the onset of this Congress. The House of Representatives essentially voted for an impeachment inquiry without even realizing it.

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