The Note: Impeachment morphs into long-term, split-screen issue

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“Impeachment isn’t a binary process,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

That puts the issue neither on nor off any tables for the foreseeable future. Impeachment will trail members of Congress into their districts for the rest of the summer, and will linger as a campaign issue as 20 presidential candidates gather in Detroit this week for the next set of debates.

It stays there with the knowledge that the issue continues to divide Democrats while mostly uniting Republicans.

Erin Scott/Reuters

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) holds a news conference to discuss the Committee’s oversight agenda following the Mueller Hearing in Washington D.C., July 26, 2019.

As for the middle, a telling detail in the new ABC News/Ipsos Poll released on Sunday: Independents were far more likely to sound like Republicans than Democrats when asked to react to Robert Mueller’s testimony, describing the testimony as a waste of time and taxpayer money or questioning the former special counsel’s fitness.

President Donald Trump showed again who he is and how he will act over the weekend, with a fresh round of racist tweets aimed at House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and his congressional district.

The debates will offer chances for Democratic candidates to say who they want to be. They will still be having their arguments, though, in the political atmosphere generated by the president’s behavior.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Hillary Clinton took a beating from all sides for not spending enough time or attention on Michigan.

This cycle, Democrats are making sure to show that they’ve learned the lesson.

Ahead of the second round of debates in Detroit this week, several candidates are holding events and touring the key Midwestern state. Most have campaigned there repeatedly over the last few months.

A little history refresher: In 2016, Clinton lost to Trump by 10,704 votes, or 0.3%, in the state. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., beat Clinton by 1.5 percentage points there in March 2016 during the Democratic primary.

In 2018, Democrats flipped the governor’s mansion and picked up two congressional seats previously held by Republicans.

The TIP with Molly Nagle

Stakes for the second debate are perhaps the highest for former Vice President Joe Biden. He’ll focus on taking on Trump and his plans for the future, and he’s also poised to hit his opponents on the issues he feels strongly about, in particular health care.

“Booker, Gillibrand, Harris and Warren all have signed on to Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-all plan, which means higher taxes on the middle class. That’s a non-starter for Joe Biden,” a senior Biden campaign official said.

On the trail, Biden has made it clear that he doesn’t believe that “starting from scratch” is the best way to achieve universal coverage, preferring to expand what’s already in place, which he has said is much less expensive and presents less risk of coverage interruptions.

Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver hit back in a statement: “Your continued use of the same insurance company scare tactics that were used against the Affordable Care Act is truly disheartening. The truth is that Medicare for All guarantees comprehensive health care for all while lowering overall health care costs. That means Americans will get more health care while paying less for it.”

We won’t see a head-to-head match-up between Biden and Sanders during the Detroit debates, but Biden will have a rematch with Sen. Kamala Harris, who is releasing her own “Medicare for All” policy on Monday. And as the two have continued their feud from the first debate on the campaign trail, sparks should to fly on Wednesday.

Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Former US Vice President Joe Biden gestures as he holds a speech about his foreign policy vision for America on July 11, 2019 at the Graduate Center at City University New York City.


ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast. Monday morning’s episode features ABC News’ Karen Travers, who tells us what the resignation of Director of National intelligence Dan Coats means for the Trump administration. Then Perry Bacon Jr., from our friends at FiveThirtyEight, examines the verbal attacks on Rep. Elijah Cummings and Baltimore, and how they could play among Trump’s base.


  • President Donald Trump participates in a 10 a.m. signing ceremony for the Sept. 11 victim compensation fund in the Rose Garden.
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee unveils a climate change proposal in Detroit starting at 10 a.m. He then travels to Flint, Michigan, to tour the city.
  • Former Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., holds a media availability in Detroit at 3 p.m.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., holds a town hall in Toledo, Ohio, starting at 6:30 p.m.
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