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Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, appears before the House Intelligence Committee on Nov. 15 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A lawyer for former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch told MSNBC Tuesday an investigation should be launched into whether she was monitored in Kyiv after newly released records shed new light on events leading up to her ouster.

Driving the news: House Democrats released a trove of documents earlier Tuesday, including phone records of Lev Parnas, an associate of President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, which appear to indicate he discussed surveilling Yovanovitch in March 2019.

[T]he notion that American citizens and others were monitoring Amb. Yovanovitch's movements for unknown purposes is disturbing. We trust that the appropriate authorities will conduct an investigation."
— Statement by Yovanovitch's lawyer to MSNBC

Why it matters: Per Axios' Alayna Treene: A public release of some or all of these materials could give Democrats new ammunition to argue that the White House must turn over more information and allow new testimony from witnesses.

  • The records released Tuesday "offered new details on the shadow diplomacy campaign at the center of Mr. Trump’s impeachment and highlighted the effort to remove Ms. Yovanovitch," the New York Times notes.

Flashback: Yovanovitch testified in November that she was the subject of a smear campaign spearheaded by Giuliani that led to her firing.

Zoom in: The documents include text message exchanges between Parnas and Robert Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate and Trump donor in March 2019. (This is the first time Hyde's name has been mentioned in the case against Trump.)

  • Per the documents, Hyde said: "If you want her out, they need to make contact with security forces. They know she’s a political puppet. They will let me know when she's on the move … They are willing to help if you/we would like a price. ... Guess you can do anything in Ukraine with money… what I was told."
  • Parnas replied, "LOL."

The records also show Giuliani wrote a letter asking for a private meeting last spring with Volodymyr Zelensky, who was then Ukraine's president-elect, with Trump's "knowledge and consent."

  • "Mr. Giuliani has previously said he was acting at Mr. Trump’s direction in his dealings with Ukrainian officials, but the letter released on Tuesday is the first public document that says he was doing so," the Times writes.

The big picture: Parnas, who faces federal charges, provided the documents to House Democrats as additional evidence for the impeachment inquiry.

What they're saying: Hyde posted a tweet later Tuesday night criticizing House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) following the documents' release.

"How low can liddle Adam Bull Schiff go? I was never in Kiev. For them to take some texts my buddy's and I wrote back to some dweeb we were playing with that we met a few times while we had a few drinks is definitely laughable. Schiff is a desperate turd playing with this Lev guy."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged that Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

56 mins ago - Podcasts

Google's chief health officer Karen DeSalvo on vaccinating America

Google on Monday became the latest Big Tech company to get involved with COVID-19 vaccinations. Not just by doing things like incorporating vaccination sites into its maps, but by helping to turn some of its offices and parking lots into vaccination sites.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Google is doing, and why now, with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer who previously worked at HHS and as health commissioner for New Orleans.

Biden signs order overturning Trump's transgender military ban

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Biden signed an executive order on Monday overturning the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

Why it matters: The ban, which allowed the military to bar openly transgender recruits and discharge people for not living as their sex assigned at birth, affected up to 15,000 service members, according to tallies from the National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender American Veterans Association.