Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Patrick Semansky/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

House Judiciary ranking member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) accused Democrats of running a "sham investigation" in the opening moments of the House's formal debate on impeachment Wednesday, claiming President Trump committed "no crimes" and that the facts do not support the case against him.

Why it matters: It's inevitable that the House will approve articles of impeachment at the conclusion of the debate, but Collins could be selected to defend the president in the Senate's impeachment trial. His opening statement provides a window into the defense that Republicans have mounted.

Read Collins' full statement:

"Thank you, Madam Speaker. Here we are, where we always knew we’d be. 
The moment Democrats won the House majority, it was inevitable we would be voting on articles of impeachment.
On September 24, Speaker Pelosi announced an impeachment 'inquiry' before even seeing the call transcript. For Democrats, it was impeach first, investigate later. The conclusion was never in doubt, and everything has been based on a clock and a calendar. 
What does 'clock and calendar' mean? It means Democrats are on a political timetable and must impeach before Christmas. Several Senate Democrats are running for president, and House Democrats are under orders to impeach before the Iowa Caucuses.
To Democrats, it’s politics, not facts, that matter.
In January 2017 — eleven days after inauguration — one attorney tweeted, the 'coup has started.' He now represents the infamous 'whistleblower.'
In January 2019, our colleague Rashida Tlaib said, 'We’re going to impeach the M-F-er.' 
In May 2019, our colleague Al Green stated, 'I’m concerned if we don’t impeach this president, he will get reelected.'
In November 2019, Speaker Pelosi said it would be 'dangerous' to leave it to voters to determine whether President Trump stays in office.
That is why we are here.
Democrats are impeaching the president for doing what he promised: ensuring America doesn’t pour money into corrupt places.
Democrats have failed to prove their case.
Democrats decided to impeach before investigating and tried to find facts to support their theory. They failed. 
The president called their bluff by releasing the call transcript. Since then, Democrats have told us not to believe what’s written there in black and white. 
They said 'us' means 'me.' 'Favor' means 'demand.' 'Corruption' means anything but Democrat corruption.
Democrats called in a Stanford Law professor to explain that 'we' means 'I.' 
For months, Democrats claimed the president had committed bribery, extortion, campaign finance crimes, even wire fraud. 
For years, Democrats claimed the president conspired with the Russians and obstructed justice.
When it was time to put their money where their mouth is, they backed down. Big time. 
There’s no bribery, no extortion, no wire fraud, no obstruction of justice anywhere in these articles. 
This is the first time in history a president will be impeached without a single allegation of criminality. 
Instead, they charged abuse of power. 
There’s no legal standard for measuring 'abuse of power.' It’s a subjective concept that means whatever any member of Congress wants it to mean.
Here, Democrats argue the president 'injured the interests of the nation.' An opposition party always thinks the opposition president injures the national interest. A standard that is met any time we have divided government is no standard at all. 
The obstruction of Congress article is even more absurd. 
The president asserted executive branch prerogatives and Democrats jumped to impeach. 
Presidents have asserted privileges in response to Congressional demands since the Washington administration.
It’s not up to Congress to decide what constitutes a 'lawful cause or excuse' (as is said in the articles). The courts decide what is the law.
Democrats could have gone to court. In Nixon, two months elapsed between district court decision and Supreme Court order to turn over tapes, but remember: Clock and calendar. They don’t have two months to spare.
Democrats didn’t negotiate, seek contempt or go to court. Instead, they skipped straight to impeachment. 
Here are the rest of the facts. 
The White House released two call transcripts to the public for review. 
The president said, 'Go tell the truth,' when Ambassador Sondland said he was asked to testify before Congress.
Democrats intimidated witnesses to prevent them from testifying at the Intelligence Committee.
The president committed no crimes. The articles allege no crimes.
The president had a longstanding skepticism of foreign aid and a deeply-held belief that Ukraine was not a good destination for American taxpayer dollars.
The president didn’t want taxpayer dollars going to a corrupt nation because 'it’s as good as kissing it goodbye.'
The president released the aid after Vice President Pence and Senator Ron Johnson assured him Ukraine was taking meaningful steps to address corruption. 
Ukraine received the aid and a meeting with President Trump and never opened an investigation.
Democrats ran a sham investigation. This isn’t about facts. It’s about the clock and the calendar. 
It’s also about the Democrats' trying to undo an election. 
Speaker Pelosi said the House would not impeach unless it was 'compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan.'
Well, it’s not bipartisan. It’s not compelling. It’s not overwhelming.
The biggest, most dangerous lie being peddled here is that the president, as an American citizen, is guilty until proven innocent.
That is what the Democrats are selling. Conclusions first, investigations second and facts last. 
The American people, to their credit, aren’t buying it."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan tributes flood in for "giant of the Senate" Bob Dole

Then-Vice President Joe Biden and former Sen. Bob Dole at an event put on by the World Food Program where he was awarded the first “McGovern-Dole Leadership Award” in December 2013. Photo: Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call

Republican and Democratic politicians, including former Senate colleagues, are sharing condolences and memories commemorating the life of Bob Dole, who passed away at 98 on Sunday morning.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was the longest serving Republican leader in the Senate until 2018, when current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surpassed his record.

Former Sen. David Perdue to launch bid for Georgia governor

Photo: Megan Varner/Getty Images

Former Senator David Perdue (R) plans to announce a campaign against Georgia's incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp Monday, according to a source familiar with Perdue's thinking.

Why it matters: Perdue's challenge to his former ally Kemp sets up an unprecedented "scorched earth" battle between Georgia Republicans fueled by former President Donald Trump, in the battleground state. The news was first reported by Politico.

Former Sen. Bob Dole dies

Former Sen. Bob Dole in 2019. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole passed away Sunday morning at the age of 98, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced in a statement.

Driving the news: Dole, a revered figure in U.S. politics and the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, served in the Senate for 27 years, including 11 years as GOP leader. Earlier this year he revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.