White House dares Pelosi to hold impeachment inquiry vote: report

The White House reportedly plans to send Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrip that led to acting Navy secretary's resignation cost 3K: reports Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal House Republicans, key administration officials push for additional funding for coronavirus small business loans MORE (D-Calif.) a letter as early as Friday saying President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenators demand more details from Trump on intel watchdog firing Overnight Health Care: Trump steps up attack on WHO | Fauci says deaths could be lower than first projected | House panel warns federal stockpile of medical supplies depleted | Mnuchin, Schumer in talks over relief deal Trump says he'll look into small business loan program restricting casinos 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 BidenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders exits, clearing Biden's path to nomination Former Clinton staffers invited to celebrate Sanders dropping out: report Sanders exit leaves deep disappointment on left 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 Owen McCarthyHillicon Valley: Google bans Zoom from its work computers | Dem cautions White House against using surveillance to fight virus | Lawmakers push House leaders on remote voting Rep. Massie threatens to block next relief bill, calls for remote voting Lawmakers outline proposals for virtual voting 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 GrahamTrump attacks WHO amid criticism of his coronavirus response Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill UN biodiversity chief calls for international ban of 'wet markets' MORE (R-S.C.) daring Democrats to vote on formally opening an impeachment inquiry.