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Rudy Giuliani on "Meet the Press" in April 2019. Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC

President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday he has obtained legal representation from commercial and criminal litigation lawyer Robert Costello, as well as Eric Creizman and Melissa Madrigal from the Pierce Bainbridge firm.

The big picture: Giuliani is a key player in the Trump-Ukraine saga. He has continually campaigned for Ukrainian officials to investigate the Bidens and to dig into the origins of the Russia probe. House impeachment committee members and several witnesses have accused Trump of withholding military aid to Ukraine to pressure its government to announce these investigations.

  • Republicans and Democrats familiar with the closed-door testimony in the House impeachment inquiry tell Axios' Alayna Treene that Giuliani and his Ukraine activity have been a unifying thread for the witnesses.
  • New York federal prosecutors launched a criminal investigation into Giuliani to determine if he "broke lobbying laws in his dealings in Ukraine," the New York Times reports.

Background: Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen used 2018 emails from Costello as evidence for his claim that a presidential pardon "was dangled" before he cooperated with federal prosecutors, CNN reports.

  • Costello told Cohen in April last year that he could "sleep well tonight" since he had "friends in high places," per CNN.
  • Lev Parnas, one of Giuliani's foreign-born associates to be indicted on campaign finance charges, said via his lawyer on Monday that he would cooperate in the House's impeachment inquiry.

Go deeper: Amid Ukraine scandal, Trump officials worry about Rudy Giuliani's financial motives

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

American officials and authorities in Haiti are working to try and free 17 hostages from a U.S.-based missionary group who were kidnapped in Port-au-Prince over the weekend, AP reported Monday.

The latest: Christian Aid Ministries said in a statement Sunday, "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children." The Ohio-based organization said they were on a trip to visit an orphanage when they were kidnapped Saturday.

China's economic growth slows

A worker assembles heavy truck engines in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, on Monday. Photo: Long We/Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

China's economy grew 4.9% in the third quarter of 2021 compared with a year earlier, the country's National Bureau of Statistics announced Monday.

Why it matters: The gross domestic product growth in the July-September period in the world’s second-largest economy marked the "weakest pace since the third quarter of 2020 and slowing from 7.9% in the second quarter," Reuters notes.

5 hours ago - World

Former spy Steele defends controversial Trump Russia dossier

Former U.K. intelligence officer Christopher Steele arrives at the High Court in London in July 2020. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

The author of the "Steele Dossier," containing unverified claims about former President Trump told ABC News he stands by his controversial report, according to excerpts from an upcoming documentary released Sunday.

Why it matters: The FBI drew on former U.K. intelligence officer Christopher Steele's dossier as part of its investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged links to Russia's government, which led to former special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.