Earlier Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the body's top Republican, asked Pelosi to "suspend all efforts surrounding your ‘impeachment inquiry’ until transparent and equitable rules and procedures are established to govern the inquiry, as is customary." Thursday afternoon, he received his answer.
"As members of Congress, we take a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic," Pelosi wrote in her Thursday reply. "The existing rules of the House provide House committees with full authority to conduct investigations for all matters under their jurisdiction, including impeachment investigations. There is no requirement under the Constitution, under House rules, or House precedent that the whole House vote before proceeding with an impeachment inquiry."
Pelosi announced the beginning of the probe two weeks ago, following revelations that Trump sought help with a domestic investigation from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a July phone call, and that he later directed intelligence leaders to keep a whistleblower's report about that call from the House Intelligence Committee. Trump's request sought answers about former US Vice President Joe Biden, now a leading Democratic contender in the upcoming 2020 election, and his pressuring the Ukrainian government to fire its prosecutor general in 2016, just as a corruption probe into a gas company on whose board Biden's son, Hunter, sat.
Amid significant flak for the decision, Trump publicly asked China Thursday morning for help investigating the Bidens, too.
"They [Ukraine] should investigate the Bidens," Trump told reporters Thursday. "Likewise, China should start investigation into the Bidens."
"As you know, our founders were specifically intent on ensuring that foreign entities did not undermine the integrity of our elections," Pelosi's letter continues. "I received your letter this morning shortly after the world witnesses President Trump on national television asking yet another foreign power to interfere in the upcoming 2020 elections. We hope you and other Republicans share our commitment to following the facts, upholding the Constitution, protecting our national security, and defending the integrity of our elections at such a serious moment in our nation's history."