Welcome to Sneak Peek, our weekly lookahead for both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, plus our best scoops.
Situational awareness: Capping a weekend-long Twitter tirade, Trump tweets that he "deserves" to meet the Ukraine whistleblower and accuses Adam Schiff of "treason." Go deeper.
Tonight's newsletter is 1,459 words, a 5-minute read.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Although they still talk about it on-camera as an inquiry, top House Democrats see the actual impeachment of President Trump as increasingly inevitable.
Why it matters: With that, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces a new conundrum: how to keep Democrats' other priorities from deteriorating amid an investigation of President Trump's dealings with Ukraine that could overshadow everything else.
Behind the scenes: Pelosi's team developed a fall plan to escalate Dems' anti-McConnell messaging, with the goal of painting him as the party's prime antagonist blocking meaningful legislation.
Republicans are eager to accuse Pelosi of failing to make progress on gun reform, the USMCA trade agreement and drug pricing.
The bottom line: Pelosi has relentlessly reminded her House colleagues that Democrats regained the majority in 2018 by focusing on the issues, not by bashing Trump.
Officials are trying to carry out President Trump's months-old directive demanding that sponsors of immigrants pay the government for the costs when those immigrants used certain public benefits.
The bottom line: The majority of those immigration files — including sponsors' information — are located on physical sheets of paper often stored in a large, underground facility in Kansas City's limestone caves, multiple current and former government officials tell Axios' Stef Kight.
State of play: An interagency working group has had monthly calls with the White House to work out a system, an administration official tells Axios. But it's proved a complicated — if not impossible — task.
USCIS' former chief counsel, Ur Jaddou, said the agency has databases with some immigrant data points, and it has digitized a handful of forms — but there is no simple way to find an immigrant's sponsor.
The response: A spokesperson said USCIS is continuing to work on digitizing records.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
President Trump’s decision to release the contents of his July call with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky has set a precedent his administration will have trouble containing, Axios' Dave Lawler writes.
Why it matters: Nicholas Burns, former undersecretary of state to George W. Bush, tells Axios that administrations try to keep presidential calls with foreign leaders confidential because "you want to preserve the ability to work with these people and you don’t want to embarrass them."
The impact: The Wall Street Journal reported that in addition to Trump’s call with Zelensky, his conversations with Russian and Saudi Arabian leaders were also hidden on the secret national security system "now central to the impeachment probe.”
Gérard Araud, who was the French ambassador to the U.S. until April, says seasoned world leaders were already far more cautious in their phone calls with Trump than Zelensky, who embarrassingly saw his criticism of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and flattery of Trump exposed.
Meanwhile, Susan Rice, President Barack Obama's former national security adviser, said in an interview Friday with Axios' Margaret Talev that there's a case for Congress to have access to more transcripts from Trump's conversations with foreign leaders.
Tom Bossert. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images
Tom Bossert, who was forced out last year as President Trump's homeland security adviser, told George Stephanopoulos on "ABC This Week" that he was "deeply disturbed" by Trump's phone call with Ukraine's Zelensky.
Biden pushback: The Biden campaign sent a letter today to top TV executives asking them to no longer book Giuliani on their programs.
The House and Senate are on recess until Oct. 15.
However, the House committees investigating Trump have scheduled a series of depositions and a hearing this week:
President Trump's schedule, per a White House official:
A candlelight vigil for Jamal Khashoggi. Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Wednesday marks the anniversary of the gruesome murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Tonight: CBS' Norah O'Donnell interviews MBS on "60 Minutes."