The White House has sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several heads of committees, refusing to cooperate with the impeachment investigation. The argument is that the investigation is illegitimate for a range of reasons.

I would like to focus on just one of those reasons:

In the history of our Nation, 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.

  1. Is it true that all previous impeachment inquiries began with the House voting for it, and that this one didn't?
  2. If so, why didn't they do so this time? Doesn't the Democratic Party have the numbers in the House to win such a vote?
  3. Aside from "it's always been done that way", is there other support for the letter's assertion that such a vote is "necessary authorization of a valid impeachment proceeding" (emphasis added)?

EDIT: Wow, okay, my search-fu is weak. I don't know that the other question exactly covers all I was asking... but the accepted answer to it does. Thanks!

  • 1
    The TLDR version is that (post-Bill-Clinton-impeachment) House rules now allow it to start that way, without a floor vote. Besides that question which directly duplicates yours, you may also be interested in politics.stackexchange.com/questions/46436/… which has some additional commentary from law experts, sometimes touching on the same matter of the initiation vote. – Fizz Oct 11 '19 at 16:08

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