House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is expected to announce the formalization of an impeachment inquiry against President Trump when she speaks this evening on Capitol Hill at 5 p.m. ET, Fox News is told.
Pelosi had long resisted the move -- even though other top Democrats have insisted an impeachment inquiry has been in progress for months already.
Pelosi's imprimatur came after a flurry of swing-district Democrats late Monday backed an impeachment inquiry, or a fact-finding look at whether an impeachment vote is warranted. Her decision heartened Democrats who have long called for impeaching Trump, but were stalled after Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of Russian collusion by the Trump campaign.
Momentum built quickly for the move after a whistleblower's allegation that the president pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a July phone call to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The president vowed Tuesday to quickly release a transcript of that call, but Democrats continued to push for the whistleblower to testify and to see the full whistleblower complaint. A source familiar with the matter told Fox News this week that the whistleblower had no firsthand knowledge of the call.
Meanwhile, Yahoo News reported that the GOP-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee had written to the whistleblower's attorney, requesting a closed-door interview.
The precise implications of Pelosi's shift were unclear, given Democrats' previous rhetoric on the topic. Earlier this month, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., contradicted some of his colleagues by insisting that Congress is not engaged in any kind of "impeachment inquiry" -- before reversing course hours later in a "clarifying" press statement.
Other top Democrats, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., have repeatedly insisted in court and in public that an impeachment inquiry is in progress.
“It has been an impeachment inquiry,” Nadler has said. “What we are doing is clear. It has been very clear. It continues to be very clear."
But when asked if he thought it was an impeachment inquiry, Hoyer initially responded with an emphatic “No.”
Hoyer added: “I think the delineation ought to be whether or not they are considering a resolution of impeachment.”
This is a developing story; check back for updates.