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Gordon Sondland. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the EU, briefed senior administration officials on efforts to get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden ahead of President Trump's July 25 call with the Ukrainian leader, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Emails allegedly sent by Sondland that were obtained by WSJ indicate that several other officials can confirm what some witnesses have testified to already about a Trump administration request to investigate Burisma, the gas company with ties to Biden's son.

  • Sondland will be a key witness at this week's impeachment hearings as he previously testified that he told a top Ukraine official that military aid to the country wouldn't be released until officials agreed to investigate Burisma.

What's new: Per WSJ, Sondland kept officials including acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Energy Secretary Rick Perry informed via email of developments in the push to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation into the Bidens.

What's next: Axios' Alayna Treene notes that Republicans plan to say Sondland "only talked to the president a handful of times about Ukraine, and he was eager to please Trump."

  • "They'll also focus on the idea that Sondland's knowledge was 'presumed' and the president never directly linked the two," Alayna writes.

Go deeper: Trump-Ukraine scandal: The key players, dates and documents

Go deeper

Justice Department closes Emmett Till murder probe

A faded photograph is attached to the headstone that marks the gravesite of Emmett Till in Burr Oak Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois. Photo: Scott Olson via Getty Images

The family of Emmett Till announced Monday that the Department of Justice has formally closed its second investigation into the 1955 murder of Emmett Till.

Why it matters: The DOJ reopened the probe in 2018 after the white woman at the center of the case reportedly recanted her allegation that Till, a Black 14-year-old, sexually harassed her prior to his murder.

GOP Rep. Devin Nunes to retire, will be CEO of Trump media org

Rep. Devin Nunes. Photo: Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who serves as the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, will retire at the end of the year and become CEO of Trump's new media organization.

Why it matters: Nunes, once considered a moderate member of the party, became one of the fiercest defenders of former President Donald Trump throughout both of Trump's impeachments and the Intel committee's Russia investigation.

DOJ cites discrimination in lawsuit against Texas over voting districts

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas, alleging Republican state lawmakers discriminated against Black and Latino voters and has "again diluted the voting strength of minority Texans" when they approved new redistricting maps.

Why it matters: A DOJ assessment of the new districts found that they violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference.