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Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr confirmed Monday that the Justice Department "established an intake process" for information Rudy Giuliani gathered about the Bidens in Ukraine.

The latest: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to Barr Monday afternoon demanding answers as to why the department is receiving information from Giuliani outside of normal channels, especially in light of reports that he is under investigation by the Southern District of New York.

  • "Whether or not you are in league with Mr. Giuliani and his associates, DOJ guidelines and regulations exist to protect you and the Department from even the appearance of a conflict of interest or any impropriety," Nadler wrote, referring to allegations by Giuliani associate Lev Parnas that Barr was involved in the scheme to dig up dirt on the Bidens in Ukraine.
  • "Given your creation of a new “intake process” for Mr. Giuliani, it is all the more important that you provide a complete explanation for your decision to sidestep standard Department practice," he added.

Between the lines: While Hunter Biden’s role with Ukrainian gas company Burisma raised conflict-of-interest concerns in 2014, there is no evidence Joe Biden committed "corruption" in the country, as some Trump allies allege.

What Barr is saying:

  • The DOJ "has the obligation to have an open door to anybody who wishes to provide us information that they think is relevant."
  • "We have to be very careful with respect to any information coming from Ukraine. There are a lot of agendas in the Ukraine. There are a lot of cross currents. And we can't take anything we receive from the Ukraine at face value."

Watch Barr's statement:

The big picture: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Sunday that he intends to look into potential conflicts of interest involving the Biden family's business interests in Ukraine — and hinted that the Justice Department had opened a process for receiving information from Giuliani.

  • Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) announced last week a review of "potential conflicts of interest posed by the business activities of Hunter Biden and his associates during the Obama administration."

This story has been updated with details from Nadler's letter.

Go deeper

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.

How cutting GOP corporate cash could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies pulling back on political donations, particularly to members of Congress who voted against certifying President Biden's election win, could inadvertently push Republicans to embrace their party's rightward fringe.

Why it matters: Scores of corporate PACs have paused, scaled back or entirely abandoned their political giving programs. While designed to distance those companies from events that coincided with this month's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, research suggests the moves could actually empower the far-right.

9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Kaine, Collins pitch Senate colleagues on censuring Trump

Sen. Tim Kaine speaks with Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine and Susan Collins are privately pitching their colleagues on a bipartisan resolution censuring former President Trump, three sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction in his second impeachment.