Transcript for Pelosi announces Trump impeachment inquiry
Let's get right to that historic news from capitol hill. House speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing a formal impeachment inquiry of president trump. Only three other American presidents have faced impeachment proceedings this Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton survived in office. Richard Nixon resigned. How it will play out for president trump the big unknown. It is centered on his phone call with the leader of Ukraine. The question, did the president pressure him to investigate political rival Joe Biden? The white house now says it will release a transcript of the call as early as this morning but Democrats want more. They want to hear from the whistle-blower who uncovered this all. That whistle-blower has offered to testify. That would be part of the investigation. The stakes are enormous. A constitutional and political clash with national security consequences. The inquiry likely to peak at the launch of the presidential election year, that has never happened before. Mary Bruce starts us off from capitol hill. Good morning, Mary. Reporter: George, good morning. This is a momentous shift that we could not have seen coming just a week ago after resisting this move for months. The house speaker now says the president violated the constitution and betrayed our national security and now in just a short time the next step in what is sure to be this epic battle, the white house releasing the transcript of that phone call at the center of in controversy. This morning, the stage is set for an historic clash between congress and the president after Nancy Pelosi announced that stunning first step towards impeachment. The house of representatives moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry. The president must be held accountable, no one is above the law. Reporter: Accuing him of betraying the office of the The actions of the trump presidency revealed dishonorable fact of the president's oath of office. Betrayal of our national security and betray Alf the integrity of our elections. Reporter: The president responding on Twitter calling it more breaking news witch-hunt garbage and presidential harassment. They'll lose the election and figure this is a thing to do. All say it's a positive for me. Reporter: After months of hesitation Pelosi making her move as scores of Democrats demanded action. We cannot delay. We must not wait. Reporter: The tipping point, the president's own admission that he withheld military aid from Ukraine just days before he encouraged the president of Ukraine to investigate his potential 2020 rival Joe Biden. And Biden's son who had business interests in Ukraine. The president of the united States has admitted that he spoke to the president of a foreign country, that would be Ukraine, about something that would assist him in his political -- in his election so that has changed everything. Reporter: Trump insists halting the aid to Ukraine was not an attempt to pressure the Ukrainian president. And there was never any quid pro quo. Reporter: Democrats say that doesn't matter. You don't need an explicit quid pro quo. You don't need an implicit quid pro quo. Ukraine understands how it's entirely depen dent on the United States. Reporter: The president is saying it will be released. It couldn't have been nicer. No pressure put on them whatsoever. Reporter: That all was part of a whistle-blower complaint that the inspector general found to be of urgent concern and credible. But the director of national intelligence decided not to turn it over to congress and now both parties are calling for the complaint to be released. Now, in a rare moment of unity here on the hill, all of the senate Republicans joined their democratic colleagues in passing a resolution calling for the release of that whistle-blower complaint but Republicans, George, have also been very quick to denounce speaker Pelosi in this move to impeach and say Democrats are playing pure politics and rushing to judgment. So far they appear to be unified on that. Thanks very much.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.