House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) declined to explicitly say on ABC's "This Week" whether Democrats are pursuing an official impeachment inquiry, but repeated to George Stephanopoulos what he wrote in a court filing last week: "We have impeachment resolutions before the committee."

STEPHANOPOULOS: "You filed a judicial filing on Friday requesting grand jury information. You made it pretty clear in that filing that the House Judiciary Committee is investigating impeachment. 'The committee has repeatedly made clear that it is assessing whether to approve articles of impeachment with respect to the president.' So how much of this debate over whether the House is pursuing impeachment is a semantic debate? You have an impeachment inquiry going, don't you?"
NADLER: I'll repeat what we said in our court filings. We have impeachment resolutions before the committee. We are conducting investigations to determine whether we should report those impeachment resolutions to the House or direct our own and report those to the House. We're considering those resolutions. We'll make a determination after we get more evidence as to the president's crimes that we had from the Mueller report and also from other things. As to his violations of the emoluments clause, failure to defend the constitution against continuing Russian attacks."
STEPHANOPOULOS: "So that is an impeachment investigation? "
NADLER: "We're investigating whether to report -- whether to approve articles of impeachment before the committee."

Why it matters: As Stephanopoulos points out, much of the debate about whether Democrats should move forward with an impeachment inquiry — as Nadler reportedly favors — appears to be about semantics. Nadler denied that the House officially authorizing an inquiry would strengthen the Democrats' hand in court, and said that leadership "knows how we're proceeding."

  • Nadler later told CNN's Jack Tapper that his personal view is that Trump "richly deserves impeachment," but that that's not the question at hand. He called the Mueller hearing "an inflection point" and said that Democrats must now gather more evidence to convince the American people as they consider articles of impeachment.

Go deeper: The impeachment whip count

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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China bans Cruz and Rubio over Xinjiang criticism

Photos: Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images; Al Drago/Pool/Getty Images

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The big picture: The move seems to be retaliatory after the U.S. announced sanctions on four Chinese officials for human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in the region last week.