Bolton warned lawyers over ‘hand grenade’ Giuliani: Report
WASHINGTON: The White House's alleged effort to pressure Ukraine so alarmed former national security adviser John Bolton that he alerted a lawyer, his former aide said on Monday, according to US media.
Mr Bolton also warned that President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has emerged as the point man in the President's alleged drive to pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden, is "a hand grenade who's going to blow everyone up", his aide Fiona Hill told lawmakers, according to The New York Times.
The remark, which was also reported by NBC News, came after Mr Trump's former top Russia adviser, Ms Hill, sat for an hours-long closed-door deposition before US lawmakers probing whether to impeach Mr Trump.
Following a "sharp exchange" with US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who was working with Mr Giuliani on the pressure campaign, Mr Bolton instructed Ms Hill to notify a National Security Council lawyer, according to the Times.
Referring to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Mr Bolton also said that "I am not part of whatever drug deal Rudy and Mulvaney are cooking up", the Times reported, citing two sources familiar with Ms Hill's deposition.
Her testimony came after allegations that Mr Trump pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens in a July 25 phone call, which sparked an impeachment inquiry by Congress.
The White House's call memo shows Mr Trump sought a "favour" from Mr Zelensky.
Democrats who control the chamber say it was a demand to investigate Mr Biden - Mr Trump's potential 2020 election rival - and a Ukrainian firm that hired Mr Biden's son Hunter.
On Monday, Mr Giuliani said "I don't know Fiona and can't figure out what she is talking about" and that the State Department arranged all his contacts with Ukraine, according to The Washington Post.
Last week, the Times reported that Mr Giuliani was himself under federal investigation for his dealings with Kiev on Mr Trump's behalf.
Last month, Mr Trump fired Mr Bolton, who is known for his hardline stance on Washington's arch-enemies.
Ms Hill left the Trump administration shortly before the July call with Mr Zelensky. - AFP