Here’s some simple math: Democrats have 235 of 435 seats in the House of Representatives, and in order to impeach Donald Trump, they’d need 218 of those 235 to get on board with the drastic measure that has thus far only been used twice in U.S. history for sitting presidents (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton). Prior to Tuesday, and for literal months, Nancy Pelosi was bearish on the prospect, but that changed suddenly with reports that she was making frantic phone calls late Monday night to gauge party support, and that some lawmakers now thought impeachment was “inevitable.”
Turns out, they’re almost right—an inquiry, at least, is inevitable. As of Tuesday afternoon, it’s official. NBC News reports:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who for months resisted efforts to launch impeach proceedings against President Donald Trump, will announce a formal inquiry on Tuesday, according to two Democratic sources close to her.
The announcement will come after a meeting of the party caucus scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Politico reports that as of now, 174 House Democrats have come out in favor of either impeachment or an inquiry, while 61—most of them from right-leaning districts—have stayed mum. That number rose significantly on Tuesday.
The impeachment inquiry will center around Trump’s alleged attempt to force the Ukrainian government to investigate Hunter Biden’s business dealings with the country. Reports indicate that Trump froze $400 million in Ukrainian aid before the call, which is seen by some as a sign that he was attempting to extort president Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump claims he merely wanted other European nations to contribute, and that he plans to release the transcript of the call.