House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday that the House of Representatives will not be holding a vote on the launch of formal impeachment proceedings.
“There’s no requirement that we have a vote, and so at this time we will not be having a vote,” Pelosi said. “We’re not here to call bluffs — we’re here to find the truth, to uphold the Constitution of the United States. This is not a game for us. This is deadly serious.”
House rules do not require there to be a formal vote on impeachment proceedings, although it is unclear if the courts will recognize the proceedings as official. If the courts do not deem the proceedings legitimate, it could hinder efforts to gather evidence.
Pelosi held a press conference last month saying that impeachment proceedings were in progress.
The White House sent a letter to House Democrats last week saying that it would not work with them on the inquiry, listing the lack of a formal vote as one of the reasons.
“In the history of our nation, the House of Representatives has never attempted to launch an impeachment inquiry against the president without a majority of the House taking political accountability for that decision by voting to authorize such a dramatic constitutional step,” the White House letter stated. “Without waiting to see what was actually said on the call, a press conference was held announcing an ‘impeachment inquiry’ based on falsehoods and misinformation about the call.”
Pelosi called the letter “manifestly wrong” and “another unlawful attempt to hide the facts.”
? Although Pelosi says there has been no precedent about House votes on impeachment proceedings, several previous impeachment inquiries have launched with a full vote of the House.