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Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) told Bloomberg in an interview Sunday that there could immediately be a push to try to impeach Joe Biden over his actions in Ukraine if he's elected president, despite no evidence of wrongdoing by the former vice president.

Why it matters: Republicans have argued that attempting to remove President Trump from office in a partisan fashion sets a dangerous precedent of politicizing impeachment. Ernst, who said earlier Sunday that she will vote to acquit Trump, told Bloomberg that "this door of impeachable whatever has been opened" and that "Joe Biden should be very careful what he’s asking for."

The big picture: Biden, who was tasked by President Obama with fighting corruption in Ukraine, demanded the firing of former prosecutor general Viktor Shokin in 2016. At the time, Biden's son Hunter was serving on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma, which was owned by an oligarch who had been investigated for corruption.

  • The removal of Shokin was a policy supported by the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and many bipartisan members of Congress. However, Republicans have alleged that Biden had Shokin fired because he was investigating Burisma.
  • There's no evidence to support this claim, and no members of Congress expressed concern about Shokin's ouster until last year, when the allegations were first promoted by Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Between the lines: Iowa, Ernst's home state, will host its Democratic caucuses Monday. Polls show a tight race between Biden, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

  • Ernst suggested last week that information about the Bidens surfaced during the impeachment trial could hurt his chances.
  • "I’m really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Democratic caucus-goers," she said. "Will they be supporting Vice President Biden at this point? Not certain at that."

Go deeper ... Fact check: What Joe and Hunter Biden actually did in Ukraine

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that Ernst said "people" could push to impeach Biden, not Republicans specifically..

Go deeper

Updated 53 mins ago - Economy & Business

The billionaire balloon

Data: World Inequality Report 2022; Chart: Axios Visuals

The super-rich are getting stupid rich: New data out today shows the share of global wealth held by the richest slice of humanity swelled by almost a full percentage point during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The top 0.01% of individuals now hold about 11% of the world's wealth, compared to just over 10% in 2020, according to the "World Inequality Report 2022," written by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
54 mins ago - Health

Omicron gives a shot to boosters

Expand chart
Data: CDC; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Vaccination rates have ticked higher since the discovery of the Omicron variant, CDC data shows.

By the numbers: The seven-day average for vaccinations in the U.S. reached about 1.8 million on Monday, up from an average of about 1.3 million a month ago.

Scoop: Over 200 papers quietly sue Big Tech

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Newspapers all over the country have been quietly filing antitrust lawsuits against Google and Facebook for the past year, alleging the two firms monopolized the digital ad market for revenue that would otherwise go to local news. 

Why it matters: What started as a small-town effort to take a stand against Big Tech has turned into a national movement, with over 200 newspapers involved across dozens of states.