House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment probe of President Donald Trump Tuesday.
The move follows the administration's refusal to release a whistle blower complaint about a Trump call to the leader of the Ukraine earlier this year. During the call Trump is alleged to have repeatedly asked for an investigation of potential Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden. Trump withheld aid to the Ukraine prior to the call.
"The actions taken to date by the president have seriously violated the constitution," Pelosi said in a prepared statement.
"The president has admitted to asking the president of the Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically. The actions of the Trump presidency reveal dishonorable facts of the president's betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections."
The GOP response was brief. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy rapped Pelosi: "Speaker Pelosi happens to be the speaker of this House but she does not speak for America when it comes to this issue. She cannot decide unilaterally what happens here."
"This election is over," McCarthy said. "Our job is to legislate... It's time to put the public before politics."
Trump tweeted earlier in the day that a transcript of the call would be released Wednesday. Immediately after Pelosi's announcement, he took to Twitter again to complain of "presidential harassment."
U.S. stocks fell during the regular session Tuesday as word emerged that Pelosi would announce an impeachment probe. The S&P 500 dropped 0.84% to 2,966.60, its biggest one-day slide since Aug. 23. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 142 points, or 0.53%, to 26,808. The Dow had risen earlier in the session as much as 129 points. The Nasdaq slipped 1.46%.