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White House dares Pelosi to hold impeachment inquiry vote: report

The White House reportedly plans to send Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGovernors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation MORE (D-Calif.) a letter as early as Friday saying President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation 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 BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays 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 McCarthyTop Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon Richmond says GOP 'reluctant to stand up and tell the emperor he wears no clothes' Sunday shows preview: Biden transition, COVID-19 spike in spotlight 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 GrahamLet's give thanks to Republican defenders of Democracy Clyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight MORE (R-S.C.) daring Democrats to vote on formally opening an impeachment inquiry.