Bolton Objected to Ukraine Pressure Campaign, Calling Giuliani ‘a Hand Grenade’

WASHINGTON — The effort to pressure Ukraine for political help provoked a heated confrontation inside the White House last summer that so alarmed John R. Bolton, then the national security adviser, that he told an aide to alert White House lawyers, House investigators were told on Monday.

Mr. Bolton got into a sharp exchange on July 10 with Gordon D. Sondland, the Trump donor turned ambassador to the European Union, who was working with Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, to press Ukraine to investigate Democrats, according to testimony provided to the investigators.

Mr. Bolton instructed Fiona Hill, the senior director for Russian and Eurasian affairs, to notify the chief lawyer for the National Security Council that Mr. Giuliani was working with Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, on a rogue operation with legal implications, Ms. Hill told the investigators, according to two people familiar with her closed-door testimony.

“I am not part of whatever drug deal Rudy and Mulvaney are cooking up,” Mr. Bolton, a Yale-trained lawyer, told Ms. Hill to tell White House lawyers, according to the testimony.

It was not the first time Mr. Bolton expressed grave concerns to Ms. Hill about Mr. Giuliani. “Giuliani’s a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up,” Ms. Hill quoted Mr. Bolton as saying during an earlier conversation.

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