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House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that if the allegations that President Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden are true, then Democrats may have no other choice than to impeach him.

"The president is pushing us down this road and if in particular — after having sought foreign assistance and welcomed foreign assistant in the last presidential campaign as a candidate, he is now doing the same thing again but now using the power of the presidency — then he may force us to go down this road. I've spoken with a number of colleagues over the last week and this seems different in kind and we may very well have crossed the Rubicon here."

Why it matters: Schiff has been one of the key senior members of Democratic leadership — along with Speaker Nancy Pelosi — to resist endorsing impeachment without public support. This has put him at odds with over half the Democratic caucus and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who has said his committee is already conducting an "impeachment investigation."

  • Schiff acknowledged that it's not clear yet whether Trump's alleged pressure on Ukraine is at the center of the whistleblower complaint that set off this controversy, but said that it would nonetheless be "the most profound violation of the presidential oath...perhaps during any presidency. There is no privilege to engage in underhanded discussions."

Between the lines: Pelosi knew Schiff's impeachment comments were coming. She and Schiff spoke this weekend about Ukraine and coordinated their responses, a source familiar with their conversation tells Axios' Alayna Treene.

The other side: Trump told reporters before boarding a flight on Sunday that the conversation he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25 was perfectly legitimate: "[It] was largely congratulatory, was largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place. It was largely the fact that we don't want our people, like Vice President Biden and his son creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine.“

  • Schiff called on Trump to release the transcript of the call after the president claimed that there was no "quid pro quo" involved in their discussion about Biden: "Clearly he's afraid for the public to see."

Go deeper: Read the intel watchdog's letters about "urgent" whistleblower complaint

Go deeper

Airlines call for Biden admin's "immediate intervention" in 5G deployment

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The CEOs of leading U.S. air cargo and passenger carriers on Monday warned the Biden administration there could be "catastrophic disruption" after AT&T and Verizon deploy a new 5G service this week.

Driving the news: They said in a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other top federal officials ahead of the C-Band 5G service's deployment Wednesday that "the nation's commerce will grind to a halt" and "could potentially strand tens of thousands of Americans overseas."

Updated 3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm lashed much of the East Coast Sunday and Monday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: Authorities in North Carolina confirmed that two people died in a car crash and that they responded 600 vehicle accidents during the storm on Sunday, per the Washington Post.

5 hours ago - Health

CDC director says COVID-19 messaging should have been clearer

Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that the messaging around the COVID-19 pandemic and changing guidance should have been clearer.

State of play: Walensky is being coached by media experts and is planning to have more press briefings by herself in order to ensure that CDC is seen as an independent, scientific entity, rather than as a political one, the Journal reports.