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US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to announce formal impeachment inquiry of Trump

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By Heidi Przybyla and Adam Edelman  with NBC News Politics
US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to announce formal impeachment inquiry of Trump
Copyright  REUTERS/Tom Brenner

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who for months resisted efforts to launch impeach proceedings against President Donald Trump, will announce later Tuesday a formal inquiry, according to two Democratic sources close to her.

Pelosi's change of heart comes as dozens of House Democrats — now totalling more than two-thirds of the caucus — have come out in support of an impeachment inquiry in the wake of reports that Trump may have withheld aid to Ukraine to pressure officials there to investigate the son of political rival, Joe Biden.

Pelosi is expected to announce the development following an all-caucus meeting she had called for 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

No decisions have been made regarding the formation of a select committee that would oversee an inquiry, a senior Democratic aide told NBC News. The idea has been raised by some members and some may endorse the idea publicly. A decision on whether to create one will be made soon, the aide said.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham responded to the reports by saying that "the Democrats continue to weaponize politics when they should be working on behalf of their constituents, which is nothing new."

"President Trump is working hard on behalf of our country here in NYC while they continue to scream the word impeachment. Nothing new here," she said in a statement.

As of Tuesday afternoon, at least 166 Democrats supported some type of impeachment action — more than two-thirds of the 235-member caucus.

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 170 Democrats supported some type of impeachment action — more than two-thirds of the 235-member caucus. An op-ed article by seven freshman House Democrats in The Washington Post calling for impeachment hearings to address allegations about Trump and Ukraine had been expected to give Pelosi the "cover" she needed to back a more formal impeachment proceeding against the president, three sources familiar with the matter told NBC News on Monday night.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters Tuesday afternoon that he felt Pelosi was handling the situation "appropriately."