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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks to House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff ahead of the State of the Union. 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 Axios: "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

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats target billionaires

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

After failing to get a deal on other planned tax increases, key Senate Democrats are pivoting to a billionaires' income tax to pay for President Biden's social spending.

The big picture: No advanced economy has attempted anything similar on such a scale.

Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major abortion cases within a month of each other.

Why it matters: All of this is likely to end with significant new restrictions on abortion and a clear path for Republican-led states to win the next big abortion cases, too — the culmination of a long and bitter fight for control of the judiciary.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
8 hours ago - Economy & Business

Trump's volatile return to the stock market

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals 

Donald Trump this week became both a meme stock and a social-media entrepreneur at the same time, by announcing that a new company called Trump Media & Technology Group was going to merge with an existing company listed on the stock market.

Why it matters: The medium-term promise of Trump's media company is that it will replace Twitter for anybody wanting to keep track of Trump's messages. The short-term promise is that it can be a hot new speculative vehicle for people wanting to get rich quick in the stock market.