A time to refrain from embracing:
President Trump tried to enlist then-national security adviser John Bolton in the Ukraine pressure campaign in early May, according to a manuscript of Bolton’s forthcoming book reported by the New York Times.
Trump allegedly ordered Bolton to call Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and have him meet with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.
The President reportedly gave the order in person at an Oval Office meeting where Bolton and Giuliani were in attendance, along with White House counsel Pat Cipollone and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
Trump’s defense in the impeachment scandal over his attempt to pressure Ukraine into helping him in the 2020 election is being led by Cipollone.
Giuliani had initially planned on traveling to Ukraine to meet with Zelensky in early May. But after news reports exposed Giuliani’s plan, he cancelled the trip.
Documents released by Giuliani henchman Lev Parnas show that Giuliani proposed a meeting with Zelensky, and also with Victoria Toensing, a right-wing TV personality who was hired over the summer as an attorney for Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash.
Cipollone’s presence at the meeting comes after he spent the past week arguing, and overseeing a legal team arguing, that Bolton should not be called as a witness in the Senate’s impeachment trial.
Nice touch there kids! You’re really punching up the script.