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Illustration: Axios on HBO

Some House Democrats who lean toward impeaching President Trump are increasingly willing to jeopardize what happens to their party in 2020, and see impeachment as a moral obligation that overrules the politics of it.

Driving the news: That's one of the main takeaways from "Axios on HBO's" interviews with nine Democrats on the key House committees investigating Trump. The other: pro-impeachment Democrats are a minority of the caucus, but their numbers are only going up.

  • Our interviews included Democrats who want to move ahead with an impeachment inquiry and those who are advocating restraint, citing the political ramifications of forging down that path too soon.

The trends:

  • Several members, including Reps. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), shot down the notion that impeachment is bad politics.
  • Each of them pointed to what happened in the aftermath of the 1998 impeachment of former President Bill Clinton, where Republican George W. Bush went on to win the presidency and the GOP held its majority in the House until 2007.
  • The caucus is divided on concern about timing. Some, like Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who doesn't yet call for impeachment, argues that an inquiry must be launched in 2019 or risk deteriorating in the 2020 election year. Others, like Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.) said the timetable shouldn't matter.
  • They're split on whether it matters that the Republican Senate wouldn't convict Trump. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) is against impeachment for this reason, while other members maintain the House has an obligation to provide a check on the president irrespective of the Senate.

A common theme: Nearly every Democrat we interviewed argued that the caucus is united in the belief that Trump is unfit for office, but they disagree on the tactics for how to hold him accountable.

The bottom line: The impeachment whip count currently stands at 66 House Democrats and one House Republican publicly in support of it, according to an Axios analysis. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has held most of the caucus together by calling for restraint — but that's going to get harder as Democrats lose patience with Trump.

Go deeper: Where 2020 Democrats stand on impeaching Trump

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.

Biden directs federal government to become carbon neutral by 2050

President Biden speaking to reporters outside of the White House on Dec. 8.

President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that requires the federal government achieve multiple goals related to reducing its carbon emissions, including achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Why it matters: Meeting the objectives of the order would require a massive investment by the federal government to buy electric vehicles, upgrade buildings and change how it procures electricity.