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If you had John Bolton pegged as one of the good guys in the Ukraine debacle, please award yourself 10 points. Zero points will be awarded for predicting that Rudy Giuliani would be the criminal wunderkind who brings down the whole administration -- you can smell that idiot coming a mile off. Because of the scotch, and cigars, and pungent arrogance.

The New York Times was first to get the money quotes from former chief Russia advisor Fiona Hill's House testimony yesterday. Hill described then-National Security Adviser John Bolton as livid that Trump had outsourced America's Ukraine policy to Rudy Giuliani to manipulate for Trump's personal benefit. Calling the President's private attorney "a hand grenade who's going to blow everybody up," Bolton told Hill that she needed to report Rudy's shadow foreign policy role to "White House lawyers," making sure to add that he himself had nothing to do with their illegal schemes.


Which seems uncharacteristically naive for a wizened, old player like Bolton, since White House lawyer John Eisenberg is the one who made sure to stick the transcript of the Ukraine call in the "Bin Laden Vault," White House Counsel Pat Cipollone is frantically trying to throw roadblocks in front of anyone who might testify about it, and Bill Barr's Justice Department made damn sure that the whistleblower complaint never got investigated. But ANYWAY!

"I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up," Bolton roared through his mustache as he implicated the EU ambassador and the White House (acting) chief of staff in an illegal plot to enlist the State Department and White House in the Trump 2020 campaign.

Bolton was particularly incensed about a July 10 meeting in his office to discuss "technical assistance to Ukraine's national security council" attended by Gordon Sondland, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Hill, Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, and two Ukrainian officials who were hot to set up a face-to-face between Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky.

Mr. Bolton was trying to not commit to a meeting, according to Ms. Hill's testimony. Mr. Sondland got agitated, Ms. Hill testified, and let out that there was an agreement with Mr. Mulvaney that there would be a meeting if Ukraine opened up the investigations the White House was seeking.

HOLY QUID PRO QUO! And also, check out this amazing profile of Sondland in the Post titled How A Rich White Dude Who Thought He Could Buy An Ambassadorship And Tell Europe How To Run Shit Got So Far Over His Head And Is Probably Going To Jail Now LOLOL. Okay, fine, it's not really called that. But it definitely could be! Back to the July 10 meeting, however, where Bolton was absolutely losing his shit over Sondland's fuckup.

Mr. Bolton immediately ended the meeting abruptly. As the group moved toward the door, Mr. Sondland said he wanted them to come down to the ward room next to the White House mess to discuss next steps. Mr. Bolton pulled Ms. Hill aside to instruct her to go to the ward room and report to him what they talked about.

When she got downstairs, Mr. Sondland was talking with the Ukrainians and specifically mentioned Burisma, the Ukrainian energy firm that had Hunter Biden, the former vice president's son, on its board.

Hey, remember that hilarious story yesterday where Sondland was reportedly going to tell Congress that he had NO IDEA Burisma had anything to do with Joe Biden's son and was just pushing it on the Ukrainians because, you know, reasons? What a maroon!

Ms. Hill testified that she asked Mr. Sondland why he would be discussing this in front of their Ukrainian colleagues and tried to shuffle them out of the room and break things up.

At one point, Mr. Sondland mentioned Mr. Giuliani, who was involved in the discussions about a possible meeting between the two presidents.

The key to being a master crimer is to mention as many of your co-crimers as possible. Just shout their names as loud as you can. The more people in the room, the better!

After Hill relayed the conversation to Bolton, he said he'd report it to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and ordered her to report it to deputy White House counsel and chief legal adviser for the National Security Council John Eisenberg (there he is again!). Which was about as effective as complaining to the fox that some dastardly villain has been sneaking into the henhouse at night and murdering the chickens.

Good thing the White House didn't unceremoniously kick Bolton to the curb so that he'd be super pissed off and ready to stick a shiv in them, right? Let's go out on a limb and guess that the White House will have exactly as much luck blocking Bolton's testimony as they did Hill's. Which is to say, NONE AT ALL.

After the White House sent Hill's lawyers a letter claiming executive privilege and confidentiality prevented her from making almost any statements about her time at the White House, her attorney slapped them back with a reminder that, if the president wanted to preserve any privilege, he should have kept his yap shut about it since "matters which have been made public through affirmative actions of White House and/or media reports are likely not protected as confidential by executive privilege because they are, by their very nature, no longer confidential." They also reminded the White House that the "deliberative process privilege 'disappears altogether when there is any reason to believe government misconduct occurred.'" Which is lawyertalk for FUCK YOU, OUR CLIENT IS ABOUT TO TELL CONGRESS ABOUT ALL YOUR GUY'S CRIMES.

And speaking of people who aren't going to shut up, the Post reports that Sondland is ready to finger Trump and Giuliani when he testifies to Congress on Thursday. And not in the guys-weekend-that-took-a-weird-turn-after-three-beers-and-a-pill way either.

But Sondland plans to tell Congress this week that the roots of the confounding task of securing a pledge from Zelensky began in May, according to a person familiar with the testimony. Sondland attended Zelensky's inauguration that month.

In an Oval Office meeting afterward, Sondland intends to say, Trump told him, special U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and Energy Secretary Rick Perry that any face-to-face meeting he would entertain with the new Ukrainian president would have to be cleared by Giuliani, the president's personal attorney.

America's dumbest fuckin' criminals! And, by the by, as we type, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent, a member of the foreign service since 1992, is testifying before Congress. Good thing Rudy's been circulating a dossier around the State Department and White House accusing Kent of protecting Joe Biden because he's paid by George Soros. That'll make sure he's loyal!

All the president's men are spilling their guts. And the men leading the charge ... are women.

[NYT / WaPo / Hill Attorney Letters via Axios]

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