Stories by David Nather

The new case for impeachment

Illustration of President Trump from behind, holding up double v-signs like Nixon
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Some House Democrats are convinced that they'd have better luck getting testimony and documents if they launch an impeachment inquiry against President Trump — which is why they've been pushing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi so hard.

Reality check: It's not like the Trump administration would suddenly drop its fight against Congress and dump a bunch of documents in Pelosi's arms. The big difference between an impeachment inquiry and a regular investigation, legal experts say, is that Congress might have a stronger hand in the courts to get some of the information it wants.

Democrats' next oversight move: The power of the purse

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

House Democrats are considering a new idea to pressure the Trump administration to comply with their subpoenas. The idea is to use the appropriations process as leverage and threaten to withhold funding until they get the documents and testimony they've requested.

Why it matters: It's a move that has a high risk of failure, since appropriations bills have to be approved by a Republican-held Senate and signed by the president. But given the Trump administration's determination to resist all of the Democrats' oversight efforts, and the prospect that court fights could take years, they're being forced to consider every tool they might have.

Exclusive: Emails show Trump nominee called administration "heartless"

Letter from Mark Morgan to Kevin McAleenan
Excerpt of an email sent from then-U.S. Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan to then-acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Kevin McAleenan, obtained by Axios on May 14, 2019. Photo illustration: Axios visuals

President Trump's pick for director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is going to be working with the same official who fired him as head of the Border Patrol in 2017 — and internal emails obtained by Axios' Alayna Treene reveal just how bitter Morgan's exit was.

Why it matters: The emails — dated Jan. 24 and 25, 2017 — show the depth of Morgan's anger and disappointment with the Trump administration for forcing him out of the role. But they also show how far Morgan has come to get back into Trump's good graces, after talking up Trump's immigration policies on television and endorsing his proposed border wall.