Must the House vote to conduct an impeachment inquiry?
Cipollone wrote: “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 House has taken such a formal step in the past, including most recently with the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton.
Pelosi has not called for such a vote but announced last month that the House is conducting “an official impeachment inquiry.”
However, a former senior House Republican aide told NPR that “there is a difference between what the House should do and what the House has to do.”
The former aide, an expert on House rules who asked not to be identified because he is criticizing his own party, argued that it’s best practice to have a vote of the full House.
But there is nothing in the Constitution or in the rules of the House that compel a full House vote to authorize an impeachment inquiry. Pelosi is breaking with precedent but not rules or the law.