John Bolton released another new bombshell in his forthcoming book — and places President Donald Trump’s lead impeachment attorney as a fact witness in the Ukraine extortion plot.
The former national security adviser revealed that Trump asked for his assistance in May to extract damaging information from Ukraine’s government about Joe Biden, and Bolton wrote that White House counsel Pat Cipollone and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney were present in the Oval Office for that conversation, reported the New York Times.
The revelation — which came hours after Republicans appeared to have sewn up the votes needed to bar new witness testimony — shocked readers.
Holy fuck. https://t.co/K94t0cUojq
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) January 31, 2020
This is really important, from the new NYT scoop:
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) January 31, 2020
Republican Senators should think VERY seriously about whether Cipollone has been straight with them, or has instead protected his own legal exposure.
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) January 31, 2020
This puts Cipollone’s letter declaring Trump would not cooperate in a whole new light. He wasn’t just trying to cover up Trump’s wrongdoing, but also his own exposure. https://t.co/xcGgfksB7K
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) January 31, 2020
Two of Trump’s leading formal defenders in this process were Devin Nunes & Pat Cippolone….who both never mentioned they were personally enmeshed in the actual scandal!
And Trump continues to deny any of this even happened!
But “he did it & it’s no big deal” is GOP orthodoxy? https://t.co/g15M1QNblx
— Dan Lavoie (@djlavoie) January 31, 2020
Holy crap! Where is the #Senate? Per Bolton, Cipollone and Mulvaney were in the room in May when Trump directed Bolton to help with his pressure campaign to get dirt on Democrats from Ukraine. #ImpeachmentTrial https://t.co/M1EqKUn0ac
— Typical Trumpism (@TypicalTrumpism) January 31, 2020
Wait, Bolton’s book says there was an earlier call — and Cipollone was in the room for it?
The same Cipollone who’s been in the Senate for a week, insisting that there was no quid pro quo? Saying Bolton wouldn’t add anything new?
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) January 31, 2020
The NYT story throws Cipollone in a hornet’s nest of legal ethics issues.
— David Jolly (@DavidJollyFL) January 31, 2020
You knew that Bolton chapter was going to hit this morning.
— Schooley (@Rschooley) January 31, 2020
The best part about this is that much of the R defense of the president rests on Ds failure to obtain testimony of a first-hand account of the president making these demands. https://t.co/PYiRNRCx1z
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) January 31, 2020
“I’m shocked that it implicates Cipollone,” said no one who watched the president’s lawyers lie to the American people repeatedly both before and during the Impeachment Trial. https://t.co/sK3ZMOCpdf
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) January 31, 2020
Just a hypothetical: can a lawyer be disbarred for representing a client in a matter in which the lawyer is himself implicated?
— Christian Vanderbrouk (@UrbanAchievr) January 31, 2020
So as a matter of professional legal ethics you can’t really represent a client in a matter in which you are also a witness (or accomplice) and it’s a bar-grievable issue — I would have thought this is obvious but these days it’s worth reiterating https://t.co/glyBSoxhjA
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) January 31, 2020
Cipollone is the White House Counsel-his client is the presidency, not the president. We pay his salary with our tax dollars. However, he’s defending the president, ignoring the evidence & suggesting impeachment will forever damage the country while ignoring what Trump is doing.
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) January 31, 2020
Recall as you read this story that Trump attorney Patrick Philbin, asked about Giuliani’s actions, said on the Senate floor: “I want to make clear that there was no conduct of foreign policy being carried out here by a private person.” https://t.co/21H2geTl8H
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 31, 2020
Cipollone has argued to the Senate – no there there – but he was in the room when Trump was asking Bolton to help shake down Zelensky.
NYT – “Mr. Trump gave the instruction … during an Oval Office conversation in early May that included …the WH counsel, Pat A. Cipollone pic.twitter.com/JLMsZT602h
— John P. Flannery (@JonFlan) January 31, 2020