Top officials under President Donald Trump expressed concern about Rudy Giuliani’s back-channel diplomatic contacts with Ukraine, but it’s not clear anyone did anything to push back on those efforts.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former national security adviser John Bolton were each aware of Giuliani’s contacts, according to testimony in the impeachment inquiry, but no witnesses have shown either did anything to limit the president’s personal attorney, reported Bloomberg.
Three State Department officials — William Taylor, the top diplomat in Ukraine; Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine; and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for Ukraine — will each testify in public hearings this week as part of that congressional investigation.
Gordon Sondland, the EU ambassador, told lawmakers that the president had authorized Giuliani to conduct diplomacy with Ukraine, and he testified that he had discussed the former New York City mayor’s role with Pompeo.
“Pompeo rolled his eyes and said, yes, it’s something we have to deal with,” Sondland said.
Bolton, who was forced out in September, raised concerns about Giuliani’s role in Ukraine and cut short discussions about pressuring the foreign ally to investigate Trump’s political rivals, according to witnesses.
“(Giuliani is) a hand grenade that is going to blow everybody up,” Fiona Hill, Trump’s former Russia adviser, testified.
However, it’s not clear whether Bolton did anything to counter Giuliani.