Make no mistake, the so-called “impeachment inquiry” is currently in operation and has been for some time. Rep. Nadler, House Judiciary Committee Chairman, and the rest of the Democrats on that committee, made it perfectly clear in today’s press conference.
Don’t get caught up (like the media is) in the lack of some official declaration of an “Impeachment Inquiry” being started. That’s not how this works and is not some kind of requirement from the Constitution in order to proceed with the power of impeachment.
Basically, every investigation that Congress does into the wrongdoing of impeachable officials can be considered an “impeachment inquiry”, simply because the result of any of these such investigations can be a recommendation for the House to consider articles of impeachment. In other words, they don’t need to somehow deem this or that particular committee hearing as one that is specifically considering impeachment for it to result in an impeachment recommendation.
So, why not just state that they are, indeed, conducting an “impeachment inquiry”? Simple, they are attempting to present this as it should be…that is, that they are conducting their Constitutionally mandated duty of oversight by investigating potential criminal wrongdoing of the President and they will follow the evidence as it develops during the investigation in order to determine what the proper remedy is, including the possibility of impeachment. By declaring an “impeachment inquiry, that presents the perception that they are only considering the evidence with only that remedy in mind. It’s an important distinction.
In any case, no matter how you want to phrase it, the “impeachment inquiry” is happening, and the Mueller testimony was very much a part of it.