The Note: Democrats look for fights as 2020 race gains urgency

You almost need a scorecard to track the sparring of the last few days.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

Democrats are spoiling for a fight. Who that fight is with depends on the Democrat.

You almost need a scorecard to track the sparring of the last few days.

Though not always by name, it's Bernie Sanders vs. Joe Biden, John Hickenlooper vs. Bernie Sanders, John Delaney vs. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and California Democrats vs. Nancy Pelosi -- sort of.

Between the jabs and boos, Democrats are hashing out fundamental questions about the party's identity and the appropriate size of the big tent. Potential litmus tests are multiplying, with abortion rights, Medicare for all and impeachment among them.

With Biden picking up his campaign pace, starting with a New Hampshire visit Tuesday, and a large group of candidates converging on eastern Iowa this weekend, more direct engagement among the 2020ers is in the offing.

A few debate slots are still up for grabs, just three weeks before the kickoff event in Miami. These may be pre-match engagements, but they matter nonetheless.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

House Democratic leaders are continuing a forward march this week in their oversight and investigations of the Trump administration.

They have said repeatedly that there is a necessary process, steps that cannot be skipped. On a road, which may or may not lead to impeachment, they are threatening the next footsteps.

The House Oversight Committee plans to vote next week on whether to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for not complying with subpoenas related to their 2020 Census investigation. It could become the latest Democrat-led House panel to sanction Trump cabinet officials in a dispute over documents and information.

The move comes as a growing number of Democrats call for leaders to open an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's actions detailed in special counsel Robert Mueller's report. Contempt and censure measures could be seen as a middle ground.

On Sunday, however, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's top vote counter -- suggested the House eventually would launch impeachment proceedings, even if Democrats were not there yet.

The TIP with Armando Garcia

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro released a multi-tiered plan to reform police across the nation. The "People First Policing Plan" establishes a nationwide police code of conduct that intends to prevent officer-involved shootings, calling widespread instances of police shootings of unarmed Black men a "national crisis."

The 2020 candidate teased his policy over the weekend during his speech at the MoveOn #BigIdeas forum in San Francisco. He received a standing ovation when he referenced the arrest of Dylann Roof, who killed nine African Americans at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. He was unharmed by police during his arrest, "as he should be," Castro said.

"He murdered nine people while they were worshiping and then a couple of hours later, he was apprehended by police without incident," Castro said. "But it made me think then what about Eric Garner? And what about Philando Castile?"

In addressing police reform, Castro may be drawing from his own experience as the former mayor of San Antonio, which boasts one of the largest municipal police departments in Texas. His plan also calls for improving transparency by creating a national database for police departments to use when hiring officers, and one of the plan's goals is to "mend the often-frayed relationship between police departments and the communities they serve."


ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Tuesday morning's episode features ABC News Senior Foreign Correspondent Ian Pannell, who tells us how the spat between President Donald Trump and London Mayor Sadiq Khan tells us more about future trade relations between the two nations. Former DHS acting undersecretary and current ABC News contributor John Cohen analyzes the current spate of gun violence in Virginia Beach and Chicago. Then ABC News' Matt McGarry takes us aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, the aircraft carrier deployed near Iran.

ABC News' "The Investigation" podcast. While Trump is overseas, a new and exclusive interview granted by his senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is making political waves back at home. Axios National Political Reporter Jonathan Swan sat down with Kushner, and the two discussed the fallout from that 2016 Trump Tower meeting, questions surrounding the Kushner Companies' business dealings and whether or not Kushner discussed his own White House security clearance with his father-in-law. When asked by "The Investigation" if Swan thinks Kushner faces any vulnerability with the president, Swan said: "He's not invulnerable, and there have been times ... where the president has been irritated with him, mostly when ... he attracts negative news coverage. But, I mean, he's family."


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