White House dares Pelosi to hold impeachment inquiry vote: report

The White House reportedly plans to send Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Justice Department says Trump's tax returns should be released | Democrats fall short of votes for extending eviction ban House adjourns for recess without passing bill to extend federal eviction ban Photos of the Week: Olympic sabre semi-finals, COVID-19 vigil and a loris MORE (D-Calif.) a letter as early as Friday saying President TrumpDonald TrumpMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine Trump testing czar warns lockdowns may be on table if people don't get vaccinated Overnight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' MORE doesn’t need to comply with Democratic lawmakers until the full House chamber formally approves an impeachment inquiry against him, Axios reported.

By sending Pelosi the letter, Trump and the White House are aiming to force House Democrats in toss-up districts to take a formal stance on impeachment, Axios noted, adding that Republican sources say that even as the chamber’s minority party, GOP lawmakers can have a greater say in impeachment hearings and other parts of an inquiry once the full chamber formally approves it.

The letter to Pelosi and the chairmen of the six House committees participating in the inquiry was drafted as of Thursday night but had not been finalized or signed, according to Axios.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

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Pelosi announced last week that the chamber would launch a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump after a whistleblower complaint said he urged Ukraine’s president to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCDC chief clarifies vaccine comments: 'There will be no nationwide mandate' Overnight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Biden urges local governments to stave off evictions MORE and his son Hunter about business dealings in the country.

Trump on Thursday also encouraged China to investigate the Bidens.

One GOP official described to Axios that by labeling the move an inquiry despite not holding a vote, House Democrats “want to be a little bit pregnant.”

Pelosi said in a Thursday letter to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyAfter police rip Trump for Jan. 6, McCarthy again blames Pelosi Capitol Police asked to arrest the maskless 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade MORE (Calif.) that “there is no requirement under the Constitution, under House rules, or House precedent that the whole House vote before proceeding with an impeachment inquiry.”

The White House's potential action echoes Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham, Cuellar press Biden to name border czar Trump takes two punches from GOP The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands MORE (R-S.C.) daring Democrats to vote on formally opening an impeachment inquiry.