Joe Biden told Stephen Colbert on CBS' "The Late Show" on Thursday that he still doesn't know who he will pick as his running mate, but acknowledged that a "very invasive process" of vetting is now underway.

The big picture: Biden told Colbert that his campaign already reached out to "a preliminary list of people" — and a team of lawyers will begin examining "every vote they've taken ... everything from their financial statements to their health circumstances."

  • But he said that he still doesn't know who it'll ultimately be: "I honest to God don't know who. I promise you right now."
  • The former vice president committed earlier this year to selecting a woman as his running mate.

Asked if he will investigate the Trump administration as president, Biden said, "I will appoint an inspector general to take a look at where every single dollar in the stimulus package and whatever recovery occurs, if it does, between now and January. ... I think there’s too many cozy relationships out there.”

  • "In terms of having the Justice Department go look at an individual or whatever, the Justice Department is not my lawyer. This Justice Department has turned into the president’s private lawyer. He is, or she is, the people’s lawyer — the people’s lawyer — not answerable to the president saying, 'I want you to investigate so-and-so.'"
  • "There hasn’t been a public expression from the top of that grief, which helps guide the country’s soul in times of crisis like this. And it’s not just for the irreparable loss of lives but the economic loss, the insecurity, worry about the future, the loss of a normal national state."

Go deeper: Joe Biden's secret governing plan

Go deeper

Aug 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

What's next for Joe Biden after Democratic National Convention

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios; Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Joe Biden’s calculation is clear: he wants to scare the hell out of America about four more years of President Trump and keep the camera, focus and media trained on his opponent, not himself.

Why it matters: Biden said this week he plans a partial return to the road after Labor Day, with targeted visits to swing states — but strictly within the guidelines of safe crowd sizes, social distancing and guidance from scientists and public health officials.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"— COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear themU.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Italy tightens restrictions Spain declares new state of emergency.

Amy Coney Barrett's immediate impact

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In her first week on the job, Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.