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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that she will ask the chairmen heading the House committees handling the impeachment inquiry to proceed with articles of impeachment against President Trump.

Why it matters: Pelosi's statement means that House Democrats are continuing full speed ahead on impeachment — and will ultimately bring a full House vote.

The big picture: As Axios' Alayna Treene reported, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) signaled during Wednesday's impeachment hearing that the committee is broadening the scope of the impeachment inquiry to include Robert Mueller's findings.

  • The committee's Democrats displayed three impeachable offenses on screens during the hearing: abuse of power and bribery, obstruction of Congress, and obstruction of justice.
  • That marked the clearest sign yet that those charges could be part of the articles of impeachment when drafted.

What she said:

  • "The president's actions have seriously violated the Constitution. ... His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution."
  • "Our democracy is what is at stake. The president leaves us no choice but to act."
  • "The facts are uncontested. The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security."
  • "If we allow a president to be above the law, we do so surely at the peril of our republic."

The other side: Trump dared House Democrats to impeach him "now" in a series of tweets earlier this morning.

  • He added that he wanted the process completed "fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business."

House Republican leadership and key staffers on the impeachment committees will brief Senate Republican staff behind closed doors Thursday afternoon on how to best prepare for the upcoming Senate trial, two sources familiar with the briefing tell Treene.

  • This is the first briefing of its kind and signals how Republicans are saving their energy and strategy for the Senate, as a successful impeachment vote is viewed as inevitable.

What's next: Democratic and Republican counsels from both the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee will present impeachment evidence at a hearing on Monday at 9 a.m.

  • Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) told Axios: “Intel wrote a report based on factually what they found. And then we'll write a report based on how you apply the Constitution to the facts.”
  • The Judiciary Committee will also have a hearing to mark up the articles of impeachment.

Go deeper: House Judiciary Committee tees up likely articles of impeachment

Go deeper

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.

How cutting GOP corporate cash could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies pulling back on political donations, particularly to members of Congress who voted against certifying President Biden's election win, could inadvertently push Republicans to embrace their party's rightward fringe.

Why it matters: Scores of corporate PACs have paused, scaled back or entirely abandoned their political giving programs. While designed to distance those companies from events that coincided with this month's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, research suggests the moves could actually empower the far-right.

9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Kaine, Collins pitch Senate colleagues on censuring Trump

Sen. Tim Kaine speaks with Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine and Susan Collins are privately pitching their colleagues on a bipartisan resolution censuring former President Trump, three sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction in his second impeachment.