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.

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Hurricane Zeta makes landfall on Louisiana coast as Category 2 storm

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta made landfall along the southeastern coast of Louisiana as a Category 2 storm on Wednesday, bringing with it "life-threatening storm surge and strong winds," per the National Hurricane Center.

What's happening: The hurricane was producing maximum sustained winds of nearly 110 mph and stronger gusts.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests, Trump's testing czar saysMask mandates help control rise in hospitalizations Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Surge is sinking consumer confidence Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" coronavirus wave France imposes lockdown as Macron warns of overwhelming second COVID wave Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed as COVID-19 surges MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

What the 2020 election means for science

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 presidential election presents two stark paths for the direction of future-focused scientific research.

Why it matters: Science is a long game, with today's breakthroughs often stemming from research carried out decades ago, often with government help. That means the person who occupies the White House over the next four years will help shape the state of technology for decades into the future.