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Photo: Siavosh Hosseini/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Two foreign-born Trump donors who helped connect Rudy Giuliani with Ukrainian officials as part of his efforts to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son were arrested on Wednesday night on campaign finance charges, the Wall Street Journal reports.

LEV PARNAS, IGOR FRUMAN, DAVID CORREIA, and ANDREY KUKUSHKIN, the defendants, conspired to circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence by engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and State office so that the defendants could buy potential influence with candidates, campaigns, and the candidates' governments.
— Southern District of New York prosecutors

The backdrop: Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman introduced Giuliani to former Ukrainian prosecutors Viktor Shokin and Yuri Lutsenko, who promoted allegations that Biden forced Ukraine to fire Shokin in 2016 because Shokin was investigating a gas company that employed Biden's son, per the Washington Post. President Trump's and Giuliani's efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Biden for this alleged corruption are now at the center of an impeachment inquiry.

  • Earlier this week, Parnas and Fruman told the House committees investigating Trump and Ukraine that they will not comply with document or deposition requests.
  • Their attorney John Dowd, who represented Trump during the Mueller investigation, accused Democrats of attempting "to harass, intimidate and embarrass" his clients.

The latest: On Thursday, the House Oversight, Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees subpoenaed Parnas and Fruman to turn over key documents about Ukraine by Oct. 16. The chairmen said the two men will be asked to testify as well at a later date.

  • U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said at a press conference that Parnas and Fruman were "about to board an international flight with one-way tickets" when they were arrested. He also added that the investigation is "ongoing."

Read the indictment:

Go deeper

Texas abortion law remains in effect after appeals court ruling

Pro- and anti-abortion protesters outside the Supreme Court as arguments begin about the Texas abortion law on Capitol Hill in November. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A U.S. appeals court transferred a challenge to Texas' law banning most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy to the state supreme court in a 2-1 vote on Monday evening.

Why it matters: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision means the country's most restrictive abortion law can remain in place for the time being.

2 hours ago - World

At least 2 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least two people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Monday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told Axios over the phone that two people had been confirmed to have died in the disaster.

Airlines call for Biden admin's "immediate intervention" in 5G deployment

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The CEOs of leading U.S. air cargo and passenger carriers on Monday warned the Biden administration there could be "catastrophic disruption" after AT&T and Verizon deploy a new 5G service this week.

Driving the news: They said in a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other top federal officials ahead of the C-Band 5G service's deployment Wednesday that "the nation's commerce will grind to a halt" and "could potentially strand tens of thousands of Americans overseas."