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Trump lashes out as House launches impeachment inquiry

Published: Updated:

President Donald Trump lashed out on Tuesday at the decision of Democrats in the House of Representatives to launch a formal impeachment inquiry, calling it “Witch Hunt garbage.”

“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,” Trump said on Twitter. “Can you believe this?”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the US House of Representatives will launch a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump over reports he sought foreign help to smear a political rival, setting up a dramatic clash between Congress and the White House that could spill into the 2020 presidential campaign.

Pelosi announced the inquiry on Tuesday after a closed-door meeting with Democratic lawmakers, saying Trump’s actions appeared to have undermined national security and violated the US Constitution.

“The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law,” said Pelosi, who had for months been reluctant to embrace an impeachment effort.

Pelosi’s change of heart followed reports that Trump had pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a July 25 phone call to investigate Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden and his son.

Trump promised on Tuesday to release a transcript of his phone call. He also confirmed he had withheld nearly $400 million in US aid to Ukraine but denied he did so as leverage to get Zelenskiy to initiate an investigation that would damage Biden.

Pelosi said the six congressional committees currently investigating Trump would continue with their probes as part of the inquiry.