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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump is going all in. He declared he has the "absolute right" to call for foreign nations to investigate political rivals — publicly calling on China to investigate the Bidens — and he plans to ask Democrats to vote on starting impeachment or get stonewalled. 

Why it matters: It now seems increasingly inevitable the House will impeach Trump. Think about it this way: Imagine a Democrat who called for impeachment before the China comment voting against impeachment after it. 

The state of play:

  • Trump said on the South Lawn yesterday: "China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine."
  • As Axios first reported, the White House plans to send Pelosi a letter as soon as today that dares her to hold a vote on an impeachment inquiry rather than simply declaring it. Trump wants to force votes by vulnerable House Dems.
Image via documents released by House Democrats

⚡ Some of the day's most explosive news broke at 10:30 p.m.:

  • Three House committees released dozens of texts between U.S. diplomats in Ukraine discussing how to handle a response to Trump’s demands that the country launch an investigation into Joe Biden’s family.
  • In one text exchange, former Ukrainian envoy Kurt Volker and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland discussed a draft statement in which the Ukraine government would announce an investigation into the 2016 U.S. election and into a company whose board Biden’s son served on. (AP)

🎵 And now there's Whistleblower II ... WashPost front page: An IRS official "filed a whistleblower complaint reporting that he was told that at least one Treasury Department political appointee attempted to improperly interfere with the annual audit of the president’s or vice president’s tax returns."

Go deeper: Trump's Senate red wall

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Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
51 mins ago - Health

Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden's plan to accelerate the reopening of K-8 schools faces major challenges from a still out-of-control pandemic and more contagious coronavirus variants.

Why it matters: The longer American kids miss in-person schooling, the further they fall behind. But the uncertain state of the science on the role young children play in the pandemic continues to complicate efforts to reopen schools.

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

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