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

The TikTok deal's for-show provisions and flimsy foundations

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The new deal to rescue TikTok from a threatened U.S. ban — full of provisions aimed at creating the temporary appearance of a presidential win — looks like a sort of Potemkin village agreement.

How it works: Potemkin villages were fake-storefront towns stood up to impress a visiting czar and dignitaries. When the visitors left, the stage set got struck.

  • Similarly, many elements of this plan look hastily erected and easily abandoned once the spotlight moves on.
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Over 3 million U.S. voters have already registered on social media

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

An estimated 2.5 million+ Americans have registered to vote on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, Facebook announced Monday. More than 733,000 Americans have registered to vote so far via Snapchat.

Why it matters: The broad reach of social media platforms makes them uniquely effective at engaging voters — especially younger voters who may not know how to register to vote or be civically engaged.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
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Wall Street: Recession is over

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  • The recession is over, according to Wall Street, with current forecasts showing sustained economic growth through 2021 and beyond.