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Photo: Andrew Harrer/AFP via Getty Images

Ukraine's Interior Ministry announced it is launching a criminal investigation into possible illegal surveillance of former U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and the hacking of natural gas company Burisma Holdings, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: The decision comes two days after Democrats released documents that appear to show Lev Parnas, an associate of President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, indicating he discussed surveilling Yovanovitch in March 2019.

  • The FBI has been invited to participate in the investigation, AP reports.

The big picture per Axios' Alayna Treene: If anything comes of these investigations, it could give Democrats new ammunition as the Senate proceeds with its impeachment trial.

What they're saying: In a statement, the ministry said, "Ukraine's position is not to interfere in the domestic affairs of the United States of America," but the allegations of illegal surveillance could be a violation of Ukrainian and international law, per NBC.

Flashback:

  • Yovanovitch testified in November that she was the subject of a smear campaign spearheaded by Giuliani that led to her firing.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, was a director of Burisma Holdings. The impeachment inquiry started following allegations that Trump threatened to withhold aid from Ukraine if they didn't investigate Burisma.

Go deeper: Yovanovitch urges Ukraine probe after Parnas phone records release

Go deeper

Policy group lays groundwork for "net negative" emissions tech

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new policy roadmap provides Congress and the White House with ways to support the growth of methods to pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using everything from existing forests to direct air capture machines.

Driving the news: Recent climate studies, such as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 1.5-degree report, have pointed to the clear need for society to pursue strategies for driving carbon emissions into negative territory by the latter half of the century.

New CDC mask guidance tests risk tolerance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The CDC announced Thursday that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors.

Why it matters: The U.S. is entering a new stage in the pandemic where the public — vaccinated or not — will need to assess its own risk tolerance in shared spaces.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
48 mins ago - Economy & Business

The rehabilitation of Wells Fargo

Expand chart
Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Wells Fargo is no longer viewed as the least ethical big company in America. That's the big lesson from the most recent Axios Harris reputation poll.

Why it matters: After hitting extreme Axios Harris lows in 2017, Wells Fargo embarked upon a massive public rehabilitation campaign in 2018. It seems to have worked.