Pelosi Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

Photograph by Andrew Harnik / AP / Shutterstock

Photograph by Andrew Harnik / AP / Shutterstock


We ran the numbers: There are 7433 news articles covering this topic. 40% (3002) are left leaning, 43% (3213) center, 16% (1218) right leaning.

On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives will begin an official inquiry into the possibility of impeaching President Trump. The inquiry comes in the wake of a whistleblower complaint from the intelligence community that alleges that Trump attempted to use American aid as leverage to pressure Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. It is alleged that Trump was attempting to find dirt about the Bidens’ business dealings in the Ukraine to use as ammunition against Biden’s presidential campaign. Although many congressional Democrats have called for Trump’s impeachment since early in his presidency, Pelosi has, up until this week, expressed reluctance to begin impeachment proceedings. Her recent reversal indicates that she considers the Ukraine scandal a clearer case for impeachment than previous allegations against the president.

Right-leaning sources tend to focus on Trump’s denial of wrongdoing in his conversation with the Ukrainian president, as well as his insistence that the Bidens were engaged in corrupt financial activity in Ukraine. These claims have been seconded by Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. A right-leaning article from Fox News notes that Pelosi has been reluctant to call for impeachment but that other Democrats have been waiting for the inquiry to begin. The article also remarks, “Joe Biden has acknowledged that during the Obama administration, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, where Hunter Biden was on the board. Trump and his allies have openly voiced concerns about the now-Democratic presidential candidate's role.”

The Washington Post published a left-leaning article analyzing the question of why Pelosi has decided to launch an impeachment inquiry now, when Trump has faced allegations of colluding with foreign governments to further his political career since the 2016 presidential election. The article argues that House Democrats have decided to pursue impeachment now because “They believe the new accusations against Mr. Trump are simple and serious enough to be grasped by a public overwhelmed by the constant din of complex charges and countercharges that has become the norm in today’s Washington.” The article notes that in the eyes of congressional Democrats, Trump’s call with Ukraine was a clear-cut abuse of power.

Centrist coverage of the impeachment inquiry announcement from NPR notes that impeachment is a major proceeding that can grind other congressional proceedings to a halt. According to the article, only three former presidents have ever faced impeachment proceedings (Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton). The article also notes that a group of moderate Democrats, who Pelosi had been attempting to protect through her caution regarding impeachment proceedings, penned an op-ed in the Washington Post on Monday calling for impeachment, indicating broader Democratic support for impeachment that had previously been present.