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House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said on ABC's "This Week" that Rudy Giuliani's recent trip to Ukraine to dig up more dirt on the Bidens is "a crime in progress," claiming that it underscores the argument that President Trump's conduct poses an ongoing "threat to election integrity."

What they're saying:

  • Schiff: "This misconduct goes on. The threat to our election's integrity coming up goes on. It's a clear and present danger, I think, to our democracy and not something we can turn away from simply because the Republicans in the House refuse to do their duty and continue to put the person of the president above their constitutional obligation."
  • Nadler: "This is a crime in progress against the Constitution and against American democracy. We cannot take the risk that the next election will be corrupted through foreign interference solicited by the president, which he's clearly trying to do."

Context: Giuliani in early December traveled to Ukraine and Hungary to meet with former Ukrainian prosecutors to gain information that he hoped would undercut the case for impeachment. After returning, Giuliani claimed that Trump asked him to brief the Justice Department and GOP senators on his findings.

  • Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has said he would be open to hearing from Giuliani after impeachment has concluded, but it's not yet known if Republicans plan to call the president's lawyer to testify in the Senate trial.

The big picture: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed "total coordination" with the White House during the impeachment trial, while Graham has said he is not trying to hide the fact that he has already made up his mind. The comments have set off outrage from Democrats.

  • Nadler said on ABC: "Here you have the majority leader of the Senate, in effect the foreman of the jury, saying he's going to work hand-in-glove with the defense attorney. Now that's a violation of the oath they're about to take, and it's a complete subversion of the constitutional scheme."

Of note: Senators must take the following oath before sitting in impeachment trials, according to Senate impeachment rules:

"I solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be,) that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of [name of person being impeached], now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: so help me God."

Go deeper: Giuliani pursued business in Ukraine while seeking to dig up dirt on Trump's rivals

Go deeper

Democrat Mark Kelly sworn in to U.S. Senate

Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Astronaut Mark Kelly (D) was sworn in to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday after defeating incumbent Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) last month for the seat once held by the late Sen. John McCain.

Why it matters: Kelly's swearing-in by Vice President Mike Pence narrows the Republican majority and moves the Senate balance to 52-48.

Senate Armed Services chair dismisses Trump threat to veto defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Wednesday that he plans to move ahead with a crucial defense-spending bill without provisions that would eliminate tech industry protections, defying a veto threat from President Trump.

Why it matters: Inhofe's public rebuke signals that the Senate could have enough Republican backing to override a potential veto from Trump, who has demanded that the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Scoop: Uber in talks to sell air taxi business to Joby

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uber is in advanced talks to sell its Uber Elevate unit to Joby Aviation, Axios has learned from multiple sources. A deal could be announced later this month.

Between the lines: Uber Elevate was formed to develop a network of self-driving air taxis, but to date has been most notable for its annual conference devoted to the nascent industry.