President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani on Tuesday said he was “disappointed” in former National Security Adviser John Bolton, after reports emerged that he had called Giuliani a “hand grenade” over his Ukraine investigations -- and told a top aide to alert a lawyer in the National Security Council.
“I am disappointed in John,” Giuliani said in a statement to Fox News. “I’m not sure he realizes I received all this evidence as part of my representation of the president. It was all part of the evidence, and suppression of evidence, involving Ukrainian collusion and the origin of some of the false information against the president.”
Giuliani’s comments come after it emerged that Fiona Hill, a former senior director to Russian and Eurasian affairs, told lawmakers Monday that a meeting between Ukrainian and U.S. officials left her and Bolton so concerned that he told her to alert John Eisenberg, a lawyer at the NSC.
According to the New York Times, Hill said Bolton told her to notify Eisenberg about the effort by Giuliani, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland to press Ukraine to investigate Democrats.
“I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up,” Bolton allegedly told Hill, according to the Times.
Hill said Bolton had previously called Giuliani a “hand grenade who’s going to blow everyone up.”
The dramatic testimony demonstrated how Giuliani and others’ efforts to investigate activity in Ukraine, particularly that of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, has split the White House.
House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry last month after the emergence of a whistleblower complaint that alerted officials to a July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In that call, of which the transcript was later released by the White House, Trump urges Zelensky to “look into” Biden’s family’s conduct and allegations of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.
Democrats allege that Trump withheld U.S. military aid to the country to force the Ukrainians into investigating his political opponent — specifically Biden’s role in the firing of a top prosecutor who had been investigating a Ukrainian gas company, where Hunter Biden sat on the board.
Trump has denied any quid pro quo, and claimed instead that he was only looking to crack down on corruption. He has instead attempted to direct attention to Hunter Biden’s activities in both Ukraine and China.
As the impeachment inquiry has heated up, it has also brought more scrutiny to Giuliani’s role in spearheading a separate investigation into Ukraine. The New York Times reported Friday that prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating whether the former New York City mayor broke lobbying laws in his own dealings with Ukraine. On Monday, Reuters first reported that Giuliani's firm had been paid $500,000 in 2018 by one of the two Ukrainian-American businessmen arrested last week on campaign finance charges.
"Although this has already been publicly discussed in the past, Giuliani Partners was retained by Fraud Guarantee in or about August, 2018," he said in a statement to Fox News. "We were referred by a prominent attorney as our firm is particularly suited for this engagement because of its 17 years of experience in this area of work and our past experience with this type of business."
He said that most of the work was completed in 2018, and payment was received as a retainer paid in two installments, "but there is a continuing obligation to advise with regard to follow-up questions." He also said that the source of the payments was domestic.
Trump gave his backing to Giuliani on Saturday, tweeting that he was a “great guy and wonderful lawyer.”
“So now they are after the legendary “crime buster” and greatest Mayor in the history of NYC, Rudy Giuliani. He may seem a little rough around the edges sometimes, but he is also a great guy and wonderful lawyer,” he tweeted. “Such a one sided Witch Hunt going on in USA. Deep State. Shameful!”
Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.