Photo: Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani traveled to Ukraine and Hungary this week in order to meet with the same former Ukrainian prosecutors whose unsubstantiated claims about Joe Biden and his son helped set off the impeachment inquiry, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The overtures to Yuri Lutsenko, Viktor Shokin and Kostiantyn Kulyk — all of whom have faced allegations of corruption — are part of an effort to solicit new information that Giuliani hopes will undercut the impeachment proceedings, according to the Times.

  • The Times also reports that Giuliani is using the trip to help produce more episodes of a documentary series marketed as an alternative to Democrats' impeachment narrative on One America News, a pro-Trump media outlet.

Between the lines: The news of Giuliani's trip follows reports from the Times and the Washington Post that he was pursuing thousands of dollars in business from Ukrainian officials — including Lutsenko — in the same months he was attempting to unearth damaging information about Trump's political rivals.

  • In addition to facing impeachment scrutiny, Giuliani and his associates are being investigated by prosecutors from the Southern District of New York, who are reportedly considering a wide array of charges ranging from unregistered foreign lobbying to fraud to money laundering.

What they're saying: A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Budapest confirmed to the Times that Giuliani had dinner there Tuesday night with the ambassador.

  • Giuliani did not immediately respond to a comment from Axios. To the Times, he rejected the notion that continuing to pursue missions in Ukraine was risky in light of the impeachment inquiry and New York investigation.
  • "If S.D.N.Y. leaks and Democrats’ threats stopped me, then I should find a new profession," he texted.

Go deeper: Giuliani pursued business in Ukraine while seeking to dig up dirt on Trump's rivals

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.

Biden to Trump: "I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life"

Former VP Joe Biden pushed back Thursday against allegations from President Trump, saying he had never profited from foreign sources. "Nothing was unethical," Biden told debate moderator Kristen Welker about his son Hunter's work in Ukraine while he was vice president.

Why it matters: Earlier on Thursday, Hunter Biden's former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, released a statement saying Joe Biden's claims that he never discussed overseas business dealings with his son were "false."