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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

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden calls Fox News reporter a "stupid son of a b---h" on hot mic

President Biden blasted Fox News' Peter Doocy on Monday after the reporter asked if the nation's soaring inflation is a political liability, saying, "what a stupid son of a b----h."

The latest: The president called Doocy Monday evening, the reporter told Fox's Sean Hannity. "He cleared the air and I appreciated it. We had a nice call," Doocy said when asked whether the president apologized, adding: "I don't need anyone to apologize to me."

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

Mike Pompeo shells out for media makeover

Via "Fox News Sunday"

Mike Pompeo's political action committee spent $30,000 on media training from last March to June — the most on any service beyond payroll during the first six months of 2021.

Why it matters: The former secretary of State hasn't just been losing weight but working to hone his media skills amid speculation about a possible presidential run, records show.

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