AH-HA ! Mystery solved ! I have heard a number of times that the current hearings in the House of Representatives are NOT an “official” impeachment inquiry. I could not see what difference it made since the Democrats have a sufficient vote advantage in the House that if Nancy brought it to a vote the House would easily approve an “official” impeachment inquiry. This morning I found out why it makes a difference.
It turns out that if the House passes a motion for an “official” impeachment inquiry, they would have to allow the Republicans on those committees to call witnesses. As it is the Democratic chairman of each committee can call whoever he/she wants and the Republicans have zero say in who appears before the committee. Pretty nifty little trick, don’t you think?