In May of 2019, President Trump held an Oval Office meeting in which he tried to enlist National Security Adviser John Bolton in his plot to enlist Ukraine to smear his domestic enemies. Trump told Bolton to call Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and instruct him to meet with Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, according to a manuscript of Bolton’s book obtained by the New York Times.
Why are Republicans so desperate to hide all this from the public and the Senate before it renders a verdict? Bear in mind that the full details of Giuliani’s work have not yet been exposed. Two of his associates were arrested, and Giuliani is the subject of an investigation. Giuliani represented Trump for no pay, and was compensated by one of his partners, Lev Parnas, who was in turn paid by a Russian oligarch who works closely with Vladimir Putin. Giuliani and his partners were allegedly using their political influence to shake down Ukrainian authorities for energy contracts.
Today, the Washington Post has another scoop — Giuliani met with Ukrainian officials to lobby on behalf of his former client, a Kiev mayor who Zelensky was planning to sack. The Post does not establish whether Giuliani had any current financial interest in this, or was just helping out a past client for old times’ sake. In any case, he had clearly been authorized by Trump as a representative in Ukraine, and used that power not only for Trump’s improper goals (smearing his enemies) but also his own. At yesterday’s Senate impeachment trial, Trump’s lawyers were asked who paid for Giuliani’s work, and refused to address the question at all.