Rudy Giuliani

Updated at 8:29 p.m. ET

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is doubling down on his defense of President Trump as well as Rudy Giuliani's role in the Ukraine controversy amid the impeachment inquiry.

Updated at 5:03 p.m. ET

A top State Department aide questioned the legality of a U.S. president asking for an investigation into a political rival in his hours-long, closed-door deposition before congressional impeachment investigators.

"Politically related prosecutions are not the way of promoting the rule of law. They undermine the rule of law," said George Kent, deputy assistant secretary in the State Department's Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.

Updated 2:45 p.m ET

William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, told congressional investigators that President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who was orchestrating an international pressure campaign on Ukraine, was acting in the president's interests and trying to cast former Vice President Joe Biden "in a bad light," according to a transcript of Taylor's testimony released Wednesday.

Editor's note: This is a developing story and will update with more details of the testimony.

Updated 6 p.m. ET

Christopher Anderson is testifying in the ongoing House impeachment inquiry on Wednesday, along with Catherine Croft.

Anderson and Croft both worked for the U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker — Anderson for almost two years. He served in Kyiv from 2014-2017 and then as special adviser for Ukraine negotiations through July 12, 2019.

Updated 8:12 a.m. ET

Christopher Anderson, a career foreign service officer in the State Department, will tell House impeachment investigators on Wednesday that President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani stood in the way of the White House strengthening ties with Ukraine, according to a copy of Anderson's opening statement obtained by NPR.

Once a fixture on cable channels and Sunday news shows, President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has all but disappeared since two of his associates were arrested this month on campaign finance charges.

The former New York City mayor's sudden reticence may have been spurred by a concern about his own potential legal peril as his dealings reportedly come under scrutiny by federal investigators.

Two of Rudy Giuliani's associates appeared in federal court Wednesday in Manhattan, where they pleaded not guilty to charges of illegally funneling foreign donations to U.S. political candidates.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman are both U.S. citizens born in the former Soviet Union: Parnas in Ukraine, and Fruman in Belarus.

The story of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman unfolds like a globe-trotting mystery over more than a year.

When the two associates of President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, were arrested at an airport this month for campaign finance violations, it wasn't immediately clear how — or even if — those activities were related to the impeachment inquiry into Trump.

But even before their arrest by the FBI, the two Soviet-born men were among the people whom Congress wanted to interview.

President Trump deputized lawyer Rudy Giuliani to run a shadow foreign policy for Ukraine outside the State Department, witnesses told Congress this past week — and the White House said people should "get over it."

It has been a busy week. Here's what you need to know about the latest in the Ukraine affair and the impeachment investigation.

Mister mayor

Giuliani has been an important figure in Trump world for years, but what investigators heard was how central he was in the plan to get Ukraine's government to launch investigations that Trump wanted.

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