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Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Federal prosecutors are investigating whether President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani expected to personally profit from a Ukrainian natural-gas business backed by two colleagues who helped his push for investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: Earlier this year, Giuliani's associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman proposed plans to Ukrainian officials and energy executives for a Poland-Ukraine pipeline transporting U.S. natural gas. The two men also requested assistance on investigations into Biden and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

  • In talks throughout this summer, Parnas and Fruman allegedly told Ukrainian officials and others that Giuliani was a partner in the pipeline business, a source told the WSJ.
  • Another person claimed the two men considered Giuliani to be a potential investor in their business, Global Energy Producers, per the WSJ.

What he's saying: Giuliani denied any personal involvement, telling the WSJ: "I have no personal interest in any business in Ukraine, including that business. ... If they really want to know if I’m a partner, why don’t they ask me?”

Background: Parnas and Fruman, both foreign-born Trump donors, were arrested in October on campaign finance charges for conspiring to funnel money to American politicians and illegal campaign donations. They pleaded not guilty.

  • The Wall Street Journal also reported in mid-October that prosecutors were evaluating Giuliani's personal business dealings in Ukraine.
  • Giuliani obtained legal representation in early November.

Go deeper

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Chicago releases video of fatal police shooting of 13-year-old boy

A small memorial is seen on April 15 in Chicago where 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by a police officer in March. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images

Chicago's independent police review board on Thursday released the body camera footage of an officer's fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo on March 29.

The big picture: Tension continues to rise nationwide in response to police misconduct and racism. Thursday's footage release comes days after officer Kim Potter fatally shot Daunte Wright in a traffic stop near Minneapolis, where the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former police officer accused of murdering George Floyd, is ongoing.

3 hours ago - Podcasts

State AG candidate Jen Jordan talks Georgia's time under the microscope

Georgia has become the center of American politics, in an era wherein state issues and officials have taken on elevated national prominence.

Axios Re:Cap speaks with Georgia state Sen. Jen Jorden, a Democrat running for attorney general, about her state's time in the national spotlight, if she'd defend the voting law as AG and if Will Smith should have pulled his movie production from her state.

Migrants cite Mexican law as incentive for heading north

Monitored by a caretaker, young unaccompanied immigrants, ages 3-9, in a playpen at a Homeland Security holding facility in Donna, Texas, last month. Photo: Dario Lopez-Mills - Pool/Getty Images

A Mexican law against the detention of minors who are headed to the U.S. border may unintentionally be encouraging more attempts by children to cross over.

The state of play: Teenagers from Honduras told Reuters they decided to cross to the U.S. through Mexico because of the law, which gives them temporary protection from deportation, as they felt safer making the attempt.