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Graham pushes Democrats to hold vote on launching impeachment inquiry

Graham pushes Democrats to hold vote on launching impeachment inquiry
© Greg Nash
Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMSNBC's Joy Reid pans Manchin, Sinema as the 'no progress caucus' Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists Biden defense budget criticized by Republicans, progressives alike MORE (R-S.C.), a close ally of President TrumpDonald TrumpHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' Man arrested for allegedly threatening to stab undercover Asian officer in NYC Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech MORE’s, is pressing Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSunday shows preview: Democrats eye two-part infrastructure push; Michigan coronavirus cases surge Pence pleaded with military officials to 'clear the Capitol' on Jan. 6: AP Democrats see political winner in tax fight MORE (D-Calif.) to hold a formal vote on starting an impeachment inquiry, arguing Democrats should have to go on the record about their efforts to investigate Trump.
 
“Democratic House members cannot be allowed to hide behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi when it comes to an impeachment inquiry of President Trump. They should – and must – vote to open an inquiry of impeachment so their constituents, country, and history can evaluate their actions,” Graham said in a statement.
 
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He added that there needs to be a “John Hancock moment,” referring to a signee of the Declaration of Independence, and that Democrats should “put their names on the line as supporting or opposing an impeachment inquiry.”
 
Pelosi already announced last week that the chamber would launch a formal impeachment inquiry over Trump's dealings with Ukraine, and she maintained during a press conference on Wednesday that a formal vote to begin the process wasn't necessary.
 
"There's no requirement that there be a floor vote. That is not anything that is excluded and, by the way, there are some Republicans that are very nervous about our bringing that bill — that vote to the floor," Pelosi told reporters Wednesday.
 
Still, Trump and some of his GOP allies are seeking to put pressure on Pelosi to hold a vote, viewing it as a potential political win for them because it would force Democrats in swing districts, and those who unseated Republicans during the 2018 midterms, to go on the record on the impeachment effort.
 
Axios reported on Thursday night that the White House is planning to send a letter to Pelosi as early as Friday saying Trump doesn't have to comply with demands from Democratic lawmakers until the House formally approves an impeachment inquiry.
 
Graham himself has previously dared House Democrats to bring the formal launch of an impeachment inquiry up for a vote. 
 
"Those who believe that the transcript is a 'Smoking Gun' for impeachment, do something about it - have the courage of your convictions," he tweeted last month.
 
"The House of Reps should take a vote to formally open an impeachment inquiry," he added.