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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks to House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Congressional Democrats' war with President Trump is about to get personal.

What's happening: House Democrats, led by Chairman Adam Schiff's House Intelligence Committee, are about to begin investigating Trump's family business. The Democrats are hiring staff with deep expertise at tracing cash flowing through complicated property transactions. 

  • Why it matters: Democrats are marching across the red line Trump drew for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, a senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, laid down the marker to Axios last night after the committee deliberated behind closed doors earlier in the day.

  • "We are going to take an MRI to any Russian financing that the Trump Organization and the president may have had," Swalwell said.
  • "But we are not going to be so naive to assume that he's faithful to the Russians. There may have been other countries who have tried to financially influence him."

Between the lines: Of particular interest to the committee is an extraordinary series of cash purchases Trump made in the decade before his presidential campaign.

  • The Washington Post revealed, in May: "Trump’s company spent more than $400 million in cash on new properties — including 14 transactions paid for in full, without borrowing from banks — during a buying binge that defied real estate industry practices and Trump’s own history as the self-described 'King of Debt.'"
  • Eric Trump told the Post, then, that the Trump Organization made the purchases like that because Trump "had incredible cash flow and built incredible wealth ... He didn’t need to think about borrowing for every transaction. We invested in ourselves."
  • The Post offered no evidence of money laundering, but Democrats plan to investigate where the money came from to make these purchases.

Swalwell told me: "Without knowing whether Mueller is investigating money laundering through the Trump Organization, we do have the ability to look at whether that has occurred or is ongoing, and we are going to fulfill that responsibility."

Go deeper ... Democratic hit list: At least 85 Trump investigation targets

Go deeper

FBI conducts "court-authorized" search of Rep. Henry Cuellar's home

Rep. Henry Cuellar. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The FBI said it conducted a "court-authorized" search on Wednesday in the area of the Texas home of Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).

State of play: "The FBI was present in the vicinity of Windridge Drive and Estate Drive in Laredo conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity," an FBI spokesperson told Axios, adding that they "cannot provide further comment on an ongoing investigation."

Big Tech lobbies hard against looming antitrust bill

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big Tech CEOs, including Apple's Tim Cook and Google's Sundar Pichai, have been jawboning lawmakers as a Senate committee takes up a key antitrust bill Thursday.

Why it matters: The bill prompting this lobbying frenzy could upend how tech's giants do business, and tech's critics see this as a "now or never" moment for Congress to check the industry's power.

Biden stock market gets Trumped

Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

U.S. stocks markets performed worse during the first year of Joe Biden's presidency than during the first year of Donald Trump's presidency.

By the numbers: The S&P 500 rose 19.3% between the market close before Biden's inauguration and yesterday's market close, compared to a 24.1% increase for Trump during the similar period.

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