House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump on Tuesday. The speaker had resisted launching official proceedings for months as a steady string of House Democrats pushed for committees to act.
Momentum behind an inquiry grew as a flood of House Democrats once wary of the issue publicly said the allegations from a whistleblower that Trump pressed the leader of Ukraine to dig up dirt on Trump’s political opponent had become a turning point.
Another pivotal move was the decision by seven House freshman Democrats with national security backgrounds to write an editorial in The Washington Post saying the nation is at a new moment. “If these allegations are true, we believe these actions represent an impeachable offense,” they wrote.
The speaker previously said her marker for pursuing impeachment was that there had to be bipartisan and public support. Public opinion polls released in June showed that a majority of Americans oppose impeachment proceedings, and even those who backed it indicated it is unlikely to advance in the GOP-controlled Senate. Congressional Republicans remain united behind the president.
In June, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan became the only Republican to back launching an inquiry. On July 4, he declared his independence from the Republican Party, although he did not declare an affiliation with another party.
Pelosi has been continuously taking the pulse of her caucus — most notably those who won in competitive districts and gave her back the gavel as speaker in the 2018 midterms. Ahead of Pelosi’s announcement of formal proceedings, close allies of the speaker who had held back from calling for impeachment went on the record calling for the House to act.
Pelosi was at the crossroads of weighing the political backlash for those vulnerable Democrats who could lose their seats in 2020 if the public remains opposed with pressure from progressives who insist Congress would be derelict if it doesn’t act within its constitutional power.
She chose to back the inquiry.
Of the lawmakers on record, some have stated outright that they support impeachment, while others specify that they support an impeachment inquiry. Both of those positions are noted as “for impeachment” in the graphics.
Editor’s note: NPR’s tracker lists lawmakers who have publicly announced definitive support for an impeachment inquiry. Those lawmakers who have said they would support impeachment with some qualification — e.g., if some allegations about the president are proven true — are not counted on the list of those backing impeachment.
This story was originally published on June 19, 2019.
NPR will continue to track where each member of the House of Representatives stands on impeachment proceedings. See something we missed? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.