Fiona Hill, a former White House adviser on Russia, told House impeachment investigators behind closed doors that former Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton had told her to call White House lawyers to raise concern over suspect administration pressure on the Ukraine.
Hill revealed Bolton’s growing concern over Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, saying Bolton told her: “Giuliani’s a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.” The New York Times added that Hill recalled Bolton saying, “I am not part of whatever drug deal Rudy and Mulvaney are cooking up” - referring to Mick Mulvaney, the White House’s acting chief of staff. Mulvaney had not previously been implicated in the Trump-Ukraine scandal which has resulted in an on-going impeachment inquiry.
Reactions to the reports of Bolton sounding the alarm ranged from shock to surprise. Former Obama speech writer and podcast host, Jon Favreau, quipped online, “Will be interesting watching Trump try to discredit Deep State Democrat John Bolton.”
Vox correspondent Ian Millhiser noted, “This plot twist, where John Bolton turns out to be good, really strains the credibility of this entire season” while Josh Barro joked, “It’s going to be extremely fucking weird when John Bolton brings down Donald Trump and becomes a hero to liberals.”
Hill also told the House she had strongly and repeatedly objected to the ouster earlier this year of former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, according to a person familiar with the testimony.
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Yovanovitch previously testified that Trump pressured the State Department to fire her.
Hill made the remarks on Monday as she testified for more than 10 hours in the Democratic inquiry, which is probing Trump’s pleas to Ukrainian officials for investigations into political rival Joe Biden’s family and into the country’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election. The person requested anonymity to discuss the confidential interview.