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Bolton lawyers in contact with impeachment committee members: reports

Attorneys for former national security adviser John Bolton are in touch with House committee staffers about the possibility of his testifying in Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Trump, NBC News and CNN reported Friday

Bolton, whom Trump fired last month, has broken with the president on multiple foreign policy issues, and previous House witnesses have described him as sharply critical of Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, which are at the center of the inquiry.

Former Trump aide Fiona Hill reportedly testified before the House panels last week that Bolton described Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as a “hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.”

She also reportedly said Bolton told her to tell White House lawyers “I am not part of whatever drug deal Rudy and [chief of staff Mick] Mulvaney are cooking up,” referring to an alleged back channel diplomatic effort with Kiev.

Democrats expressed a strong desire to speak with Bolton following Hill’s testimony. 

“He’s as big a hawk as you’re going to find,” House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said last week. “And according to the news report, he was shocked and appalled at the run-around of the official channels for a private foreign policy run by Giuliani. So that makes what he has to say of interest to me.”

Spokespeople for the House Foreign Affairs and Intelligence committees declined to comment on whether they were in touch with Bolton’s lawyers. The Hill has also reached out to the Oversight and Reform Committee for comment.

The impeachment inquiry was spurred by a whistleblower’s complaint that says Trump sought to pressure Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading 2020 contender, and his son, Hunter Biden, in order to gain an edge in next year’s election. 

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, but a recreated transcript the White House released of a July 25 phone call between him and the Ukrainian president included Trump asking for the Biden probe as a favor, naming Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr as administration officials who could assist on the matter. The call came days after Trump delayed the release of hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine.

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