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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to the media Sept. 17. Washington, D.C. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused House Democrats of a "rush to judgment," as he led Republican attacks on Speaker Nancy Pelosi's announcement of the opening of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Why it matters: Articles of impeachment would ultimately be decided by a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate.

  • Per the New York Times, there is no "obvious enforcement mechanism" if McConnell were to refuse to hold a trial for a president impeached by the House.

The big picture: The allegations that Trump may have pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate 2020 candidate Joe Biden led to swing district Democrats and influential holdouts to endorse impeachment, prompting to Pelosi to act.

  • McConnell noted that the Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to pass a resolution calling for the White House to release to the Senate Intelligence Committee the whistleblower complaint that allegedly involves Trump and Ukraine.

What they're saying: Trump loyalists like Senate Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) were confident any articles of impeachment would be quashed in the chamber, according to The Hill.

  • Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, told the news outlet, "You can’t tell me they’re talking about impeachment when the president is cooperating with them 100 percent to release these things. It’s premature to talk about impeachment."
  • Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) told Politico the Democrats' action was putting them "on a path to re-elect the president."

Yes, but: Some Republicans have been more cautious in their approach. Utah Sen. Mitt Romney has led the charge on the issue, calling for the release of the whistleblower complaint, adding that it would be "very helpful to get [to] the bottom of the facts."

  • Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) suggested while meeting with the caucus on Tuesday afternoon "that we get the facts before people start jumping to conclusions," Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told Politico.
  • Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) told Politico that Trump's conversations with Zelensky about Biden and his son, along with reports of the whistleblower complaint, were a "serious issue."
  • Gardner declined to say whether he still supported the president's re-election, telling Politico, "Let’s find out what’s happening. Let’s get to the bottom of this."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Jake Sullivan discussed Saudi-Israel normalization with MBS

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg and Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised normalization with Israel during his recent meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, three U.S. and Arab sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia would be the biggest regional player to sign onto the "Abraham Accords" peace agreement with Israel, and such a major breakthrough would likely convince other Arab and Muslim countries to follow suit.

Tech's leaky world

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Tech companies are learning what everyone in Washington already knows: Leaks of confidential info are inevitable, and "plumbing" operations to close them rarely work.

Why it matters: Most tech firms talk up the power of transparency but prefer to keep details of their operations secret from competitors and the public. Researchers, regulators and the media are increasingly relying on information provided by dissident employees and whistleblowers to see inside companies' workings.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

First look: Harris wants more union membership in fed workforce

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at a virtual town hall with Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) on Oct. 14. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh will today announce new guidelines to encourage federal workers to join unions, according to a White House official.

Why it matters: The Biden administration wants to bolster the collective bargaining power of workers across the country – and they are starting at home, with changes in the federal workforce.

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