House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will announce a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump this evening, multiple media outlets reported.
The move will come amid recent revelations that Trump repeatedly pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, for corruption.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that during a July 25 phone call, Trump asked Zelensky at least eight times to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to investigate the Bidens over their dealings in Ukraine. Biden is one of Trump's top political rivals heading into the 2020 presidental election.
The younger Biden sat on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas-extraction company, from 2014 to early this year. Trump and Giuliani accused the elder Biden of trying to stymie a criminal investigation into Burisma in 2016 by pushing the Ukrainian government to fire Viktor Shokin, the prosecutor general leading the inquiry.
While Biden did seek the prosecutor's removal, those accusations are unsubstantiated, with government officials and Ukrainian anticorruption advocates in fact saying that Shokin had hampered the investigation into Burisma long before Biden had entered the picture, according to The Journal.
Trump's phone call with Zelensky is at the center of an explosive and unprecedented whistleblower complaint that a US intelligence official filed against the president in August.The acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, is withholding the complaint from Congress and the public, but The Washington Post reported last week that Trump made a "promise" to Zelensky during the phone call.
On Monday, The Post also reported that Trump decided to withhold nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine about a week before he spoke to Zelensky.
Trump on Sunday confirmed he discussed investigating the Bidens during the conversation with Zelensky. But he rejected the notion he dangled military aid over Ukraine to spur Zelensky's government to investigate Biden.
However, he appeared to acknowledge this week that the aid package was at least somewhat on his mind during the call with Zelensky.
"It's very important to talk about corruption," Trump said on Monday. "If you don't talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt? It's very important that on occasion, you speak to somebody about corruption."