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U.S House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; announces a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump

The US Democratic Party has begun a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump over allegations that he pressured a foreign power to damage a political rival.

Top Democrat Nancy Pelosi said the president "must be held accountable". Mr Trump has denied wrongdoing and called the efforts a "witch hunt".

There is strong support from House Democrats for impeachment, but the proceedings would be unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled Senate.

Pelosi noted six existing House committees, including the Judiciary and Oversight panels, would continue their investigations of the Trump administration, now under the umbrella of this impeachment review, which was spurred by a whistleblower complaint filed against Trump regarding communications he’s had with Ukraine’s president.

Pelosi made that clear on Tuesday. “The president has admitted to asking the president of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically,” Pelosi said in a brief speech to reporters. “The actions of the Trump presidency revealed dishonorable facts of betrayal of his oath of office and betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.”

Pelosi continued: “Therefore, today, I’m announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry and directing our six committees to proceed with their investigation under that umbrellas of impeachment inquiry.”

“No one is above the law,” she said.

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