Quantcast
Connect with us

Testimony of ex-Trump aide implicates Mulvaney in coordinating Giuliani’s ‘rogue operation’ in Ukraine

Published

on

During nearly 10 hours of testimony to House impeachment investigators behind closed doors Monday, President Donald Trump’s former top Russia adviser Fiona Hill alleged that acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, and the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani were running a “rogue operation” in Ukraine that sought to bypass official channels to benefit Trump politically.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hill’s testimony for the first time directed serious attention to the key role Mulvaney played in Trump’s months-long attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, an effort that led House Democrats to launch an impeachment inquiry last month.

During her deposition, according to the Wall Street Journal, Hill “detailed a July 10 meeting she attended with senior Ukrainian officials, then-national security adviser John Bolton, and other U.S. officials in which the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, raised the issue of the investigations” into Biden.

“Both Ms. Hill and Mr. Bolton left the meeting with concerns about what had transpired, and Ms. Hill said Mr. Bolton instructed her to talk to [National Security Council] lawyer John Eisenberg,” the Journal reported. “Mr. Sondland also appeared to be coordinating his efforts with acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.”

Mulvaney’s role in Trump’s push for a Biden probe in Ukraine was first revealed last month, when reports emerged that the U.S. president ordered Mulvaney—who also runs the Office of Management and Budget—to put a hold on around $400 million in military aid to Ukraine.

According to text messages released by House Democrats earlier this month, top Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor raised alarm about Trump’s decision to withhold assistance in an apparent bid to extract political favors from the Ukrainian government.

ADVERTISEMENT

As the New York Times reported Monday night, Bolton, who departed the White House last month, likened Sondland and Mulvaney’s secretive activities to a “drug deal” and attempted to distance himself from the officials’ scheming.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up,” Bolton instructed Hill to tell White House lawyers, according to the Times, which cited two people who attended Hill’s deposition.

While critics were quick to caution against hailing Bolton—an architect of the catastrophic and illegal invasion of Iraq—as any kind of hero, they said his private objections lay bare the flagrant illegality of the White House’s shadow operation in Ukraine.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Following Hill’s testimony, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) told reporters that her deposition confirmed “Rudy Giuliani has clearly been a leading force for the administration in defining a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine.”

As the Times reported,

Ms. Hill, the senior director for European and Russian affairs, testified that Mr. Giuliani and his allies circumvented the usual national security process to run their own foreign policy efforts, leaving the president’s official advisers aware of the rogue operation yet powerless to stop it.

At one point, she confronted Mr. Sondland, who had inserted himself into dealings with Ukraine even though it was not part of his official portfolio, according to the people informed about Ms. Hill’s testimony.

He told her that he was in charge of Ukraine, a moment she compared to Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr.’s declaration that he was in charge after the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt, according to those who heard the testimony.

According to whom, she asked.

The president, he answered.

ADVERTISEMENT

Thanking Hill for her detailed testimony, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) tweeted Monday night, “The truth will keep coming out. And Trump cannot stop it.”


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘People’s lives will be lost’: Psychiatrist warns ‘sociopath’ Trump is ‘getting worse’ — and failing in coronavirus response

Published

on

President Donald Trump's psychological problems are getting worse and could be consequential as America faces a potential COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday interviewed Dr. Lance Dodes, a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

"As you pointed out, Lawrence, this man is about himself. He really is not about the country, he's not about public health," Dr. Dodes said of Trump.

"Although he has already severely damaged the country by being a psychopath or sociopath -- in many ways, he's damaged democracy -- I think people's lives will be lost now," he warned. "Individual lives will be lost because of the way he's mishandling the coronavirus issue."

Continue Reading

2020 Election

‘Something really rotten’: Here’s the evidence of extensive voter suppression in Georgia’s notorious 2018 election

Published

on

As the 2020 presidential campaign cycle grinds on, there’s renewed concern about the 21st century’s newest form of warfare: cyber-sabotage of government systems, including elections and online disinformation intended to incite unrest. But as Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, a documentary from Brave New Films, makes clear, partisan voter suppression tactics with 20th-century roots remain and can thwart multitudes of voters from changing their state’s political leaders.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

The real story behind Trump’s new lawsuit against the New York Times

Published

on

Wednesday was an ominous day for freedom of the press in this country, and I want to tell you why.

You may have heard or seen that President Trump filed a libel suit against the New York Times. Perhaps you weren’t surprised: the president is known to frequently disparage the Times even as he reads it obsessively. Borrowing a page from what I’ve referred to before as a Mount Rushmore of totalitarians, Robespierre, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, Trump loves to call the press the “enemy of the people.”

Continue Reading
 
 
close-image