The TAKE with Rick Klein
President Donald Trump has declared himself to be the "most transparent" president in history.
That's not true -- not when measured by tax returns, or White House press briefings, or by cooperation with investigations up to and including the impeachment inquiry that's reaching the drafting stage on Capitol Hill.
But it's a title Trump's Democratic challengers are suddenly competing over. Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced on Monday that he will open up his fundraisers to reporters, just hours before his former employers at McKinsey acceded to his request that he be allowed to disclose the clients he worked for last decade.
That came after Buttigieg was attacked by Sen. Elizabeth Warren on those topics. Warren herself in recent days released additional details of her private legal work, in addition to the results of her medical exam.
Candidates are framing their actions as reactions to Trump, whose defiance of norms that once seemed non-controversial has become part of his political identity. Trump will surely jump on any freshly revealed details, just as he did regarding a certain, infamous DNA test.
Still, transparency is contagious. Several older candidates will be under more pressure on issues of health and even non-wealthy candidates will be pressed to detail sources of their income -- particularly if questions from voters roll in.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
Monday was the last day of scheduled testimony in the House impeachment process. There are no more hearings on the books as of now, instead the House Democrats are expected to unveil at least two articles of impeachment against the president at a morning news conference, according to multiple Democratic sources familiar with the matter.
The closing arguments were presented on Monday to a dais of members who already seemed to have their minds made up. That means that while a historic impeachment of the president looks inevitable, so does a party-line vote on the issue.
Republicans this week have continued to argue that Democrats do not have goods to prove a crime or the president's intent. Democrats have pointed to Rudy Giuliani‘s most recent trip to Ukraine this month as evidence that impeachment is needed as an urgent deterrent, as much as a punishment.
"President Trump's persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security," Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman said Monday.
The TIP with Molly Nagle
As the impeachment inquiry enters a new phase this week, former vice president Joe Biden's patience seems to be wearing thin on questions about his son's work in Ukraine and his own possible involvement in a Senate impeachment trial.
In several interviews during his "No Malarkey" but tour across Iowa, Biden's frustration has been thinly concealed when he answers questions on the topics. He's consistently said there is no evidence of wrongdoing by him or his son, despite lingering questions about the optics of Hunter Biden's work in Ukraine while his father was vice president and the threat of subpoenas from Republican lawmakers in a possible Senate trial.
This comes on the heels of Biden's testy exchange with a man at an Iowa town hall -- an interaction that's garnered more than 2.7 million views on one Twitter video. In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Dr. Jill Biden defended her husband's response.
"I think any mother or father watching ... will say if someone attacked my child, I would speak up, and that's what Joe did, and I would expect nothing less of him as a father," she said.
ONE MORE THING
FBI Director Christopher Wray on Monday undercut a theory pushed by President Donald Trump and some of his Republican allies that the government of Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election. "We have no information that indicates that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 presidential election," Wray told ABC News in an exclusive broadcast interview on Monday.
ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Tuesday morning's episode features ABC News Senior Congressional correspondent Mary Bruce, who tells us the moments that mattered in Monday's House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing. Then, ABC News Senior Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas talks about his exclusive interview with FBI Director Christopher Wray following the release of the Inspector General's report into the origins of the Russia investigation. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
ABC News' "The Investigation" podcast. As the impeachment inquiry continues with committee counsels testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, former Republican counsel for the House Oversight Committee during the impeachment of President Clinton, Barbara Comstock, joins "The Investigation." Comstock, a former congresswoman from Virginia and now an ABC News contributor, reveals what she called "an odd thing for Republicans to be saying" when it comes to the impeachment process and shares her theory as to why she believes the American public is not engaged. Then, co-hosts Chris Vlasto and John Santucci discuss ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas' exclusive interview with FBI Director Wray, as all eyes turn to the FBI with the release of the Department of Justice Inspector General's report into the origins of the Russia investigation. https://apple.co/2BlcX0N
FiveThirtyEight's "Politics Podcast." In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew previews the official FiveThirtyEight polling averages for the 2020 Democratic primary, including how the race looks nationally and in the early states. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders have both been incredibly steady in the polls, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg have moved in opposite directions. The team also looks back at the "14 Versions Of Trump's Presidency, From #MAGA To Impeachment" in order to gauge how President Donald Trump's tenure is going. https://53eig.ht/2PsD9Nf
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