Reporter’s Notebook: The ‘impeachment resolution,’ and Dems’ fight over its meaning

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“It’s not an impeachment resolution,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Pelosi had just announced the House would, in fact, hold a vote to formalize the impeachment probe and establish parameters for the investigation late last month.

The House speaker had argued for weeks such a step wasn’t necessary. Congressional Republicans and members of the administration countered that the White House shouldn’t cooperate because the House never codified the inquiry.

“They would much rather discuss process,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., when asked about the GOP demand for a vote. “They can’t defend the president’s conduct.”

So, in mid-October, I asked Pelosi, “why not call the administration’s bluff?”

Pelosi was having none of it.

“Why?” replied an incredulous Pelosi. “Because we’re not here to call bluffs. We’re here to find the truth, to uphold the Constitution of the United States. This is not a game for us. This is deadly serious.”

When I followed up, Pelosi cut me off.

“We’re not going there,” Pelosi said of a prospective impeachment process vote.

Some moderate and conservative Democrats from battleground districts breathed a sigh of relief.

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