The Note: Investigations are the new impeachment for Democrats

You're going to need a scorecard to keep track of all the action.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

You're going to need a scorecard to keep track of all the action.

It's a signal Democrats are probably not that interested in pursuing impeachment after all. By fishing off all piers -- via Judiciary, Oversight, Intelligence, Ways and Means and other committees -- Democrats are, at least, tacitly acknowledging that the only way to replace Trump will be at the ballot box in 2020.

Pushing impeachment aside doesn't necessarily carry any less political risk. The blizzard of initial letters will be followed by certain subpoenas and court fights that will feed the narrative of "presidential harassment." There is no realistic way that all, or even most, of the overlapping and confusing probes will be wrapped before next November.

Democrats are hoping the go-broad-or-go-home strategy will appease their base and satisfy their 2020 contenders, who like the concept of exposing Trump's weaknesses. For now, it's notable that Republicans are more apt to talk about impeachment than Democrats.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

There's a big difference in the Senate between being the 51st and the 52nd vote to get a bill over the finish line. Put differently, hardly anyone wants to cast the deciding vote, but the political calculus changes significantly once members of Congress have an idea about how a vote is going to go down.

With Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., now saying publicly that he plans to vote with Democrats to block the president's emergency declaration to build a wall on the southern border, expect other Republicans to re-evaluate their votes too.

"I've had at least 10 people come up to me to say they will vote to disapprove on this. I'm not going to name them," Paul told ABC Monday.

Paul is far from the only Republican who expressed stern opposition the president's move at the time, and he could now be giving his colleagues cover. There's safety in numbers.

If more members of the president's own party decide to send this message back to the White House, that could change the political calculus for Trump too as he weighs his first ever veto. Traditionally, vetoes are not signed lightly, especially one that deals specifically with the power of the executive branch.

The TIP with John Verhovek

The roughly five-month campaign to elect a replacement for former U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., after he was appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services in 2017, turned out to be the most expensive congressional race in U.S. history. Now, the state of North Carolina has a chance to break that record.

The North Carolina State Board of Election's decision to hold a new election in the state's 9th Congressional District ensures that for at least the next six months, a cavalcade of national money and attention will descend on this suburban Charlotte seat. Potential Democratic presidential candidates like Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Eric Swalwell are already blasting out fundraising appeals about the race, and it would not be a surprise to see a number of candidates head to North Carolina to campaign for Democrat Dan McCready, who narrowly lost the seat in 2018.

Trump also campaigned in the state in 2018, just minutes from the 9th District. Depending on the GOP nominee, the president also could make an appearance on the campaign trail in an effort to salvage the final holdover of last year's midterm defeat.


ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Today's episode features ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce, who tells us more about Rep. Jerry Nadler's Trump-related document requests. Then, ABC News Deputy Political Director MaryAlice Parks is joined by ABC News' John Verhovek to talk about what the additions of Gov. Jay Inslee and former Gov. John Hickenlooper mean for the 2020 presidential race.

ABC News' "The Investigation" podcast. "The Investigation" sits down with former White House lawyer Ty Cobb, who opens up about the special counsel's investigation and Robert Mueller himself, calling him "an American hero." Plus, more insight and analysis from our ABC News Investigative Team on upcoming Congressional committee hearings and more anticipated testimony from former Trump associates.

FiveThirtyEight's "Politics" podcast. Colorado is set to become the latest state to sign on to the "National Popular Vote Interstate Compact," which is an attempt to sideline the Electoral College and award the presidency to the winner of the popular vote. In this episode, the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast team debates the merits of the Electoral College. They also discuss the latest candidates to enter the Democratic primary -- Gov. Jay Inslee and former Gov. John Hickenlooper -- and consider how much party endorsements matter in the Trump era.


  • Presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks on "America's Monopoly Problem" at 9 a.m. in Washington.
  • Democratic presidential candidate Washington Gov. Jay Inslee launches his "Climate Mission Tour" Tuesday in Iowa.
  • The House Rules Committee meets to consider the "For the People Act of 2019" on ethics and elections rights reform.
  • Howard Schultz, former Starbucks CEO and author of "From The Ground Up: A Journey To Reimagine The Promise Of America," visits the Adaptive Training Foundation in Carrolton, Texas, and then holds a book event at Southern Methodist University in Dallas at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. CST, respectively.
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