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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff hears from staff members during a break in Friday's impeachment hearing. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democrats are approaching Week 2 of impeachment hearings with one key goal: show more of President Trump's direct involvement in the scheme to tie Ukrainian aid to an investigation of Joe Biden's son.

What to watch: Of the eight officials testifying next week, the one with the most known direct interactions with Trump is EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland. The Trump megadonor already had to amend his testimony once. He may be the most legally vulnerable, and he has spoken with Trump about the investigations.

  • At least two others — National Security Council top Ukraine expert Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and former Trump Russia adviser Fiona Hill — also have the potential to offer key details from within the White House, with one Democratic official describing them as this week's star witnesses.
  • Vindman, who will appear on Tuesday, was on the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He says acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was responsible for withholding aid to Ukraine.
  • And Hill will close out the week on Thursday. "She can put an entire bow on this thing ... and speak to the president's actions directly," a Democratic aide said.

In addition to showing a more direct tie to Trump, Democrats also want to use Week 2 to fine-tune messaging that can reach persuadable independents and Republicans.

  • One Democratic official said they saw "great penetration" this week on Fox News, with Bret Baier calling Trump's tweets disparaging former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch "a turning point," and Chris Wallace stating that "you don't have a pulse" if you're not moved by her testimony.

The layout: Democrats know Republicans are going to continue pressuring House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff to allow them to ask more questions, but he will continue to gavel down any distracting narratives from the right.

  • Officials say they think the organization of the hearings so far has been effective at ensuring the substance of the witnesses' testimony gets out at the top, and they plan to keep the same layout for the majority of hearings this week.

Worth noting: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has been commandeering Democrats' impeachment strategy behind the scenes, and her team have not yet said whether they'll announce more public hearings beyond this week.

  • But some Democratic aides say they hope David Holmes, an official in the U.S. Embassy in Kiev who told House investigators in a closed-door deposition on Friday that he overheard Trump question Sondland about investigating the Bidens, will have a chance to testify publicly.

Go deeper: Inside Republicans defense strategy for Week 2

Go deeper

Making sense of Biden's big emissions promise

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden's new U.S. emissions-cutting target is a sign of White House ambition and a number that distills the tough political and policy maneuvers needed to realize those aims.

Driving the news: This morning the White House unveiled a nonbinding goal under the Paris Agreement that calls for cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50%-52% by 2030 relative to 2005 levels.

Biden pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 52% by 2030

U.S. President Joe Biden seen in the Oval Office on April 15. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

The Biden administration is moving to address global warming by setting a new, economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 50% to 52% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Why it matters: The new, non-binding target is about twice as ambitious as the previous U.S. target of a 26% to 28% cut by 2025, which was set during the Obama administration. White House officials described the goal as ambitious but achievable during a call with reporters Tuesday night.

2 hours ago - Health

Health care workers feel stress, burnout more than a year into the pandemic

Photo: Steve Pfost/Newsday RM via Getty Images

More than a year into the coronavirus pandemic, some 3 in 10 health care professionals say they've considered leaving the profession, citing burnout and stress, a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll out Thursday indicates.

Why it matters: Studies throughout the pandemic have indicated rising rates of depression and trauma among health care workers, group that is no longer seeing the same public displays of gratitude as during the onset of the pandemic.