Testimony of Ex-Trump Aide Exposes Mulvaney Role in Coordinating Giuliani’s “Rogue Operation” in Ukraine

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Mick Mulvaney...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

During nearly 10 hours of testimony to House impeachment investigators behind closed doors Monday, President Donald Trump’s former top Russia adviser Fiona Hill alleged that acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, and the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani were running a “rogue operation” in Ukraine that sought to bypass official channels to benefit Trump politically.

Hill’s testimony for the first time directed serious attention to the key role Mulvaney played in Trump’s months-long attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, an effort that led House Democrats to launch an impeachment inquiry last month.

During her deposition, according to the Wall Street Journal, Hill “detailed a July 10 meeting she attended with senior Ukrainian officials, then-national security adviser John Bolton, and other U.S. officials in which the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, raised the issue of the investigations” into Biden.

“Both Ms. Hill and Mr. Bolton left the meeting with concerns about what had transpired, and Ms. Hill said Mr. Bolton instructed her to talk to [National Security Council] lawyer John Eisenberg,” the Journal reported. “Mr. Sondland also appeared to be coordinating his efforts with acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.”

Mulvaney’s role in Trump’s push for a Biden probe in Ukraine was first revealed last month, when reports emerged that the U.S. president ordered Mulvaney—who also runs the Office of Management and Budget—to put a hold on around $400 million in military aid to Ukraine.

According to text messages released by House Democrats earlier this month, top Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor raised alarm about Trump’s decision to withhold assistance in an apparent bid to extract political favors from the Ukrainian government.

As the New York Times reported Monday night, Bolton, who departed the White House last month, likened Sondland and Mulvaney’s secretive activities to a “drug deal” and attempted to distance himself from the officials’ scheming.

“I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up,” Bolton instructed Hill to tell White House lawyers, according to the Times, which cited two people who attended Hill’s deposition.

While critics were quick to caution against hailing Bolton—an architect of the catastrophic and illegal invasion of Iraq—as any kind of hero, they said his private objections lay bare the flagrant illegality of the White House’s shadow operation in Ukraine.


Following Hill’s testimony, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) told reporters that her deposition confirmed “Rudy Giuliani has clearly been a leading force for the administration in defining a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine.”

As the Times reported,

Ms. Hill, the senior director for European and Russian affairs, testified that Mr. Giuliani and his allies circumvented the usual national security process to run their own foreign policy efforts, leaving the president’s official advisers aware of the rogue operation yet powerless to stop it.

At one point, she confronted Mr. Sondland, who had inserted himself into dealings with Ukraine even though it was not part of his official portfolio, according to the people informed about Ms. Hill’s testimony.

He told her that he was in charge of Ukraine, a moment she compared to Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr.’s declaration that he was in charge after the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt, according to those who heard the testimony.

According to whom, she asked.

The president, he answered.

Thanking Hill for her detailed testimony, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) tweeted Monday night, “The truth will keep coming out. And Trump cannot stop it.”

Thank you to all who already support our work since we could not exist without your generosity. If you have not already, please consider supporting us on Patreon to ensure we can continue bringing you the best of independent journalism.

Leave a Comment

4 Comments on "Testimony of Ex-Trump Aide Exposes Mulvaney Role in Coordinating Giuliani’s “Rogue Operation” in Ukraine"

newest oldest most voted

Jeez, all of these top level people need to be indicted, arrested and prosecuted for their crimes and crimes against the US. They are all deranged and sick, the bottom of the barrel.

Dona Guillo
Dona Guillo

And the walls keep tumbling down ……..


Another one of Trump’s enablers and facilitators. That’s good, Mulvaney can hold the flashlight as they all head to a darker place.

chris whitley
chris whitley

I like it that Mulvaney is outed on his end. Dude ain’t even been confirmed maybe not even vetted for security. To bad about Bolton. He fit right in with trump. Only problem was he was smart enough to know good chance someone going to jail on this. And he got the hell out of there.