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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Newly released documents from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation link the Russia probe and the current impeachment inquiry into the president, the Washington Post reports.

What's new: Digital news platform BuzzFeed successfully sued for the documents. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort suggested in 2016 that Ukraine could have been responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee instead of Russia, the newly released internal memos show.

The backdrop: In their July 25 phone call, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky "to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine. They say Crowdstrike..." The whistleblower accused Trump, in that call, of trying to "pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the president's 2020 reelection bid" by investigating Joe and Hunter Biden in exchange for military aid.

  • In the call, which is now at the center of the impeachment inquiry, the president appeared to subscribe to a right-wing conspiracy theory that Crowdstrike, the U.S.-owned firm hired by the DNC to investigate hackers responsible for the 2016 breach, is owned by Ukraine.
  • Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney walked back his comments in October about the Trump administration freezing military aid as leverage to get Ukraine to investigate that conspiracy theory.

What else: According to the new memos, former Trump deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates told the FBI he believed the president and others may have known ahead of time about WikiLeaks’ plans to release DNC emails allegedly stolen by Russia, per the Post.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.