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House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said on ABC's "This Week" that he believes President Trump obstructed justice, and that the potential episodes of obstruction that special counsel Robert Mueller laid out are "far worse than anything that Richard Nixon did."

"The obstruction of justice in particular in this case is far worse than anything that Richard Nixon did. The break-in by the Russians of the Democratic institutions, a foreign adversary, far more significant than the plumbers breaking into the Democratic headquarters. So yes, I would say in every way this is more significant than Watergate."

Why it matters: As the chairman of a powerful committee in the Democrat-controlled House, Schiff will continue to lead aggressive investigations into the president and seek to obtain the underlying evidence collected by Mueller. On the question of impeachment, however, Schiff demurred, citing the unlikelihood of Republicans voting to convict Trump in the Senate.

"I think what we'll have to decide as a caucus is what is the best thing for the country? Is the best thing for the country to take up an impeachment proceeding because to do otherwise sends a message that this conduct is somehow compatible with office? Or is it in the best interest of the country not to take up impeachment that won't be successful in the Senate because the Republican leadership won't do its duty. That's a very tough question."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Biden freezes U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official tells Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Podcasts

Robert Downey Jr. launches VC funds to help save the planet

Robert Downey Jr. on Wednesday announced the launch of two venture capital funds focused on startups in the sustainability sector, the latest evolution of a project he launched two years ago called Footprint Coalition.

Between the lines: This is a bit of life imitating art, as Downey Jr. spent 11 films portraying a character who sought to save the planet (or, in some cases, the universe).

DHS warns of "heightened threat" because of domestic extremism

Supporters of former President Trump protest inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday issued an advisory warning of a "heightened threat environment" in the U.S. because of "ideologically-motivated violent extremists."

Why it matters: DHS believes the threat of violence will persist for "weeks" following President Biden's inauguration. The extremists include those who opposed the presidential transition, people spurred by "grievances fueled by false narratives" and "anger over COVID-19 restrictions ... and police use of force[.]"

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