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

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Americans reflect on Independence Day amid racism reckoning

A Black Lives Matter banner and a United States flag on the facade of the U.S. embassy building in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Simon Shin/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

America's leaders are rethinking how they view Independence Day, as the country reckons with the historic, unequal treatment of people of color during a pandemic which has disproportionately affected nonwhite Americans.

Why it matters: The country’s legacy of racism has come into sharp focus in the weeks of protests following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody. From Confederate statues to Mount Rushmore, Americans are reexamining the symbols and traditions they elevate and the history behind them.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 11,031,905 — Total deaths: 523,777 — Total recoveries — 5,834,337Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 2,788,395 — Total deaths: 129,306 — Total recoveries: 790,404 — Total tested: 34,213,497Map.
  3. States: ICU beds in Arizona's hot spot reach near capacity.
  4. Public health: The states where face coverings are mandatory Fauci says it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
  5. Economy: The economy may recover just quickly enough to kill political interest in more stimulus.
15 hours ago - Sports

Washington Redskins to review team name amid public pressure

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins have announced they will be conducting a review of the team's name after mounting pressure from the public and corporate sponsors.

Why it matters: This review is the first formal step the Redskins are taking since the debate surrounding the name first began. It comes after weeks of discussions between the team and the NFL, the team said.