Speed Reads

Trump impeachment hearings

Sondland fumed Rudy Giuliani always 'f—s everything up,' impeachment witness testifies

The fifth day of public impeachment hearings hasn't been going much better for Rudy Giuliani than the first four.

Former Russia adviser Fiona Hill and diplomat David Holmes testified in a public hearing Thursday amid the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Holmes during his testimony spoke about frustrations in the administration over Trump's personal attorney, who was pushing for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and discredited allegations about Ukraine interfering in the 2016 election, with some officials fretting over his many, many media appearances.

"It became apparent that Mr. Giuliani was having a direct influence on the foreign policy agenda that the three amigos were executing on the ground in Ukraine," Holmes testified, with the "three amigos" being U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and former Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker.

"In fact, at one point during a preliminary meeting of the inaugural delegation, someone wondered aloud why Mr. Giuliani was so active in the media with respect to Ukraine," Holmes went on to testify. "My recollection is that Ambassador Sondland stated, 'Dammit Rudy. Every time Rudy gets involved, he goes and f—s everything up.'"

Hill also reiterated her previous closed-door testimony that former National Security Adviser John Bolton warned that Giuliani was a "hand grenade that was going to blow everyone up." Asked Thursday if she understood what Bolton meant by that, Hill responded, "I did, actually."

"He was clearly pushing forward issues and ideas that would probably come back to haunt us," Hill said of Giuliani. "And, in fact, I think that that's where we are today." Brendan Morrow