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Topline: As the impeachment probe around Trump’s pressuring of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens continues to intensify, the next star witness who could deliver public testimony is former national security advisor John Bolton, who has been described in previous testimony as alarmed and disturbed by the president’s actions.
- Bolton’s lawyers have recently been negotiating with impeachment investigators from House committees about a date for a closed deposition, the New York Times first reported on Thursday.
- Fiona Hill, the former senior director for Europe and Russia on the National Security Council, has already testified to Congress about how alarmed she and Bolton were over the events-to the point that Bolton told an aide to alert White House lawyers.
- Bolton characterized Trump’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate his political opponents as a “drug deal” and told Hill that he did not want to be involved.
- Hill also testified that Bolton had called Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who allegedly led the push for Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political opponents ahead of the 2020 election, a “hand grenade.”
- Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, similarly told Congress in testimony earlier this week that Bolton had expressed serious concerns about Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president.
- Taylor’s remarks could prove pivotal, as he described a meeting that connected Trump to the withholding of U.S. aid to Ukraine, which Trump then reportedly used as leverage on his phone call with the Ukranian president.
What to watch for: House Democrats moved quickly to investigate Trump’s actions with regard to Ukraine after the whistleblower complaint emerged. While there have already been several closed-door sessions, the next steps will likely include high-profile hearings that could begin as early as November, in which Bolton could play a crucial role.
Tangent: Trump fired Bolton as national security advisor last month, saying he ” disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions,” while Bolton insisted that he had first ” offered to resign.”
Further reading: Here’s a summary of everything that happened with Trump, the Bidens and Ukraine.
I am a New York-based reporter for Forbes, covering breaking news-with a focus on financial topics. Previously, I’ve reported at Money Magazine, The Villager NYC, and T