Whatever drug deal Rudy and Mulvaney are cooking up

It was too much even for John Bolton, which is saying something. (When John Bolton is the voice of sanity in the room, you know you’re in deep shit.)

The former US national security adviser, John Bolton, was reportedly so alarmed at a back-channel effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate Donald Trump’s political rivals that he told a senior aide to report it to White House lawyers.

The revelation of Bolton’s involvement in the effort to block a shadow foreign policy aimed at Trump’s political benefit emerged from congressional testimony given by his former aide, Fiona Hill, the former top Russia expert in the White House.

She talked to them yesterday for ten hours.

According to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, Hill described a sharp exchange on 10 July between Bolton and the US ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, about the role played by Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to persuade the Ukrainian government to open investigations into Democrats, including former vice president Joe Biden.

What? What about it? I don’t see the problem? Trump’s personal lawyer tries to get a foreign country to “investigate” Democrats – isn’t that perfectly normal behavior?

I jest. It’s completely batshit. They might as well have Trump’s caddy try to coax China to “investigate” Rachel Maddow – it makes every bit as much sense.

Hill said Bolton instructed her to tell the National Security Council’s attorney that Giuliani was acting in concert with White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, in a rogue operation with legal implications.

“I am not part of whatever drug deal Rudy and Mulvaney are cooking up,” Bolton instructed Hill to tell the NSC lawyer, according to her testimony.

She said that Bolton had told her on an earlier occasion: “Giuliani’s a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.”

This is John Bolton talking.

Hill also testified about Trump’s recall of Marie Yovanovitch, and the strenuous objections Hill and other aides raised.

The Washington Post reported that she had confronted Sondland over the Giuliani’s activities, which were not coordinated with officials charged with carrying out US foreign policy. Sondland is due to give his version of events on Thursday.

There are the civil servants, who have knowledge relevant to what they’re doing, and then there’s the hotel tycoon from Portland who bought the ambassadorship for 1 (one) million dollars.

According to Fox News, Hill told congressional investigators that she and other officials went to the national security council lawyer with their concerns that the White House was seeking to prompt Ukraine to open investigations into Trump’s rivals.

It sounds as if all this is before the July 25th phone call? So there were people alarmed about the cunning plan before the whistleblower blew the whistle?

The Trump people tried to say Hill was covered by executive privilege, but her lawyer said nope.

In a letter to the White House, the lawyer, Lee Wolosky, said much of the material was already in the public domain and that “deliberative process privilege “disappears altogether when there is any reason to believe government misconduct occurred.”

Any reason, when what there is now is an overflowing abundance of reason.

The week could deteriorate rapidly for Trump, whose effort to rally defenders in his own party has been damaged by concerns about a growing disaster in northern Syria, following Trump’s abrupt pullback there, and a sense that major secrets attached to the Ukraine scandal are yet to come out.

Maddow pointed out last night that there are 50 US tactical nukes stored at a base in…Turkey. Yes, Turkey. What could possibly go wrong?

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