WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday the U.S. House of Representatives will launch a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
"The president must be held accountable, no one is above the law," Pelosi said.
Pelosi had for months resisted calls to start the impeachment process. But the dynamic changed this week as more members of her caucus came out in support, including Democrats from swing districts.
Democrats are demanding information about whether Trump improperly pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, partly by withholding foreign aid.
As part of the inquiry, Pelosi said she will direct six House committees to continue ongoing investigations into the president.
Trump insists he did nothing wrong and said he will release an unredacted transcript of a call with Ukraine's leader on Wednesday.
Speaking in Delaware Tuesday, Biden said Congress must use its "full constitutional authority" to determine whether Trump asked the Ukrainian president for dirt.
Biden says if Trump doesn't comply on that and other inquiries, he "will leave Congress ... with no choice but to initiate impeachment." Biden says that would be a tragedy of Trump's "own making," saying the president apparently believes he is "above the law."
WATCH ABOVE: Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces the House will launch a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump
Earlier Tuesday, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin said on Twitter he is calling for a "formal impeachment inquiry" of Trump.
"His admission that he solicited negative info from the Pres. of Ukraine concerning his potential opponent, Joe Biden, while withholding $250M in US security aid for Ukraine is beneath the dignity of any President & by any reasonable legal standard merits an impeachment inquiry," Durbin tweeted.
President Trump is asserting that a formal impeachment inquiry by House Democrats would be a "positive for me."
Trump is in New York meeting with world leaders at the United Nations. He says the country is "doing the best it's ever done" and that Democrats are going to lose next year's elections if they pursue impeachment.
Tweeting after Pelosi's announcement, Trump said the inquiry would be: "So bad for our Country!"
Such an important day at the United Nations, so much work and so much success, and the Democrats purposely had to ruin and demean it with more breaking news Witch Hunt garbage. So bad for our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2019