Judiciary Democrats say they have effectively begun an impeachment inquiry already

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), backed by other Democrats on the panel, speaks to reporters at the Capitol on Friday.
(Associated Press)

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee told reporters Friday that they don’t need to launch a formal impeachment inquiry because they’re essentially conducting one already with their investigation into President Trump.

“In effect,” committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said when asked if the panel’s ongoing probe is effectively the same as an impeachment inquiry.

The only difference, the New York Democrat said, is with a formal impeachment inquiry the panel would only be considering impeachment.

“That’s not what we’re doing .… We’re not limited to that,” Nadler said.


Still, Nadler and several of his fellow Judiciary Democrats confirmed during a news conference Wednesday that their investigation has reached a point where they are considering whether to draft articles of impeachment against the president.

“From my personal standpoint, I would say we’re in an impeachment investigation,” Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin said, noting there’s no statute or House rule governing what form an impeachment inquiry must take.

Rep. Eric Swalwell agreed, noting that the House efforts to impeach former Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton took different forms.

“This is an impeachment investigation,” the California Democrat said of the Judiciary Committee’s current probe into Trump’s alleged crimes and misdeeds.