Democrats and Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have made their closing arguments as they end the final impeachment hearing of the week - and perhaps the final hearing before they hand the probe over to the House Judiciary Committee.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff laid out what the committee has learned over the course of seven hearings on President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Schiff said the president believes “he is above the law” and “beyond accountability” as he pushed Ukraine to investigate Democrats and withheld military aid.
He said Democrats will have to examine “what is our duty” as they decide on next steps.
The top Republican on the panel, California Rep. Devin Nunes, called the hearings “a show trial” and said they had a pre-determined verdict.
A former National Security Council adviser says she’s puzzled why she’d be called a “never-Trumper.”
Lawmakers are investigating whether Trump wrongly withheld critical military aid to Ukraine unless the country’s new president committed to saying publicly he was investigating Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden and the 2016 election.
Some Republicans have tried to discredit government witnesses as against the president, using a term “never-Trumper.”
Hill was asked whether she was one of them. She said she thought it was inappropriate to apply the term to nonpartisan officials in government.
He was asked about Trump’s phone call with U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland in which they discussed investigations Trump wanted Ukraine to conduct. And why acting Ambassador William Taylor didn’t mention it in his closed testimony and only disclosed it during a public hearing.
Holmes said that while the call was a “touchstone experience” for him, Taylor had reached the same conclusion through other means.
He said when the call was discussed later the conclusions were accepted. Holmes said officials believe that “Of course that’s what’s going on. Of course the president is pressing for a Biden investigation.”
Former White House adviser Fiona Hill says she was confident in Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s judgment on Ukraine policy, but worried that he lacked the political chops to navigate the increasingly heated conflict over the White House’s strategy.
Hill was the senior director for Russia and Europe on the White House National Security Council. She is testifying in the House impeachment hearings that Vindman, who testified earlier in the week, could handle Ukraine policy.
But, she added, “I did not feel that he had the political antennae” to handle what she described as President Donald Trump’s back channel to pressure Ukraine into investigating the Bidens while military aid was being held up.
Hill, who was born in England, saluted the Soviet-born Vindman as a laudable example of immigrants and American citizens serving their country.
Hill noted the U.S. is a country of immigrants, saying, “This is what, for me, really does make America great.”
The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee is asking witnesses about their familiarity with a dossier of opposition research compiled on Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Hill said that she did know Steele, who was her British counterpart when she served as a national intelligence officer from 2006 to 2009.
She also said she received a copy of his dossier the day before it was made public. It was given to her by a colleague at the Brooking Institution, where she worked at the time.
Former White House adviser Fiona Hill says it was very clear that there was a second channel of policy on Ukraine that was different from the one she was in, “one that was domestic and political in nature.”
Testifying in a House impeachment hearing, Hill confirmed what other diplomats have described as an “irregular” channel led by President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, as the president urged Ukraine to investigate Democrats.
Along with other witnesses, Hill said she had concerns about the removal of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Hill said the circumstances around her removal were “completely unnecessary.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says there is clear evidence that President Donald Trump has used his office for his personal gain. She says doing that “undermined the national security of the United States.”
The California Democrat says lawmakers involved in the House impeachment inquiry haven’t decided what charges they might bring against Trump. She says they don’t know if they’ll try hearing from additional witnesses.
Pelosi also says she doesn’t want to hold up the inquiry to wait for federal courts to decide whether some witnesses can testify. She says the House investigation “cannot be at the mercy of a court.”
Democrats have sought testimony from people like former White House national security adviser John Bolton. But these potential witnesses have filed court cases to determine if they must appear.
A former White House national security aide says a July 10 meeting of U.S. and Ukrainian officials was so alarming that her boss told her to call a lawyer.
Fiona Hill says a key moment was when European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland said he and Trump’s acting chief of staff had worked out a deal for Ukraine’s president. Under the deal, Volodymyr Zelenskiy would visit the White House in exchange for opening investigations.
Hill says her boss, national security adviser John Bolton, stiffened. She says it was “unmistakable body language that got my attention.”
Hill is testifying Thursday before lawmakers in the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Lawmakers are investigating whether Trump wrongly withheld critical security aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into his Democratic rival.
Holmes says he asked Sondland if it was true that Trump didn’t care about Ukraine. He says Sondland replied that he only cared about the “big stuff.” He says the “big stuff” included the Biden investigation.
A Foreign Service officer says he understood that the use of the word “Burisma” was code for “Bidens.”
Other witnesses testified they did not realize that when Trump allies and others mentioned they were seeking an investigation into Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, that they meant an investigation into the Bidens. The son of former Vice President Joe Biden sat on the board of Burisma.
The inquiry is centered on whether Trump wrongly held up military aid for Ukraine until the new president agreed to investigate the Bidens and a debunked theory that Ukraine had meddled in the 2016 election.
Fiona Hill is testifying Thursday before a House committee in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Investigators are trying to determine whether Trump wrongly held up critical military assistance unless Ukraine’s new president publicly said he’d investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden and his son.
She was asked why Ambassador John Bolton would call Giuliani a “hand grenade.” She said that Bolton was referring to Giuliani’s many TV appearances floating conspiracy theories on the 2016 election and the Bidens.
She says that Giuliani was “clearly pushing forward” issues that would “probably come back to haunt us.”
And she says: “That’s where we are today.”
A Foreign Service officer says that former White House national security adviser John Bolton mentioned critical security aid to Ukraine will be held until the new president could “favorably impress” President Donald Trump
David Holmes is testifying Thursday before lawmakers in the House impeachment inquiry into Trump. Lawmakers are investigating whether Trump wrongly withheld critical security aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into his Democratic rival.
An official at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine is telling impeachment investigators that he came forward with evidence about a phone call he overheard between President Donald Trump and a U.S. diplomat because he believed it was firsthand information relevant to the probe.
David Holmes testified Thursday that he realized that those events bore on the question of whether Trump had knowledge that senior officials “were using the levers of our diplomatic power” to urge Ukraine to open investigations into Democrats.
Holmes said he reminded the top U.S. official in Ukraine, William Taylor, about the overheard call. Taylor relayed that information to impeachment investigators last week, and they then called on him to testify.
David Holmes is testifying Thursday in a House impeachment inquiry into whether Trump wrongly held up military aid to Ukraine until the president committed to investigating Trump’s Democratic political rival.
He overheard him ask about “doing the investigation.” And Sondland told him Zelenskiy would do it and would do “anything you ask him to.”
A witness in the House impeachment inquiry is expressing his concerns about the role of Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine policy.
He says he recognized last spring that the embassy’s priorities had become overshadowed by a political agenda driven by Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, “and a cadre of officials operating with a direct channel to the White House.”
The campaign by Giuliani involved public statements attacking the ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, as well as a push for Ukraine to investigate interference in the 2016 presidential election and the Bidens.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff says Democrats will decide “in the coming days” what response is appropriate after hearing from a dozen witnesses in seven House impeachment hearings.
The seventh hearing began Thursday morning with witnesses Fiona Hill, a former White House national security aide, and David Holmes, a foreign service officer serving in Kyiv. Democrats are investigating President Donald Trump’s dealings in Ukraine as he pushed the country to investigate Democrats and withheld military aid.
A former White House national security adviser testifying before a House committee in an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump says that Russia and its proxies have geared up for 2020 election interference.
In prepared testimony, Fiona Hill cautioned against getting sidetracked by other narratives on election interference, as Republican members of the committee continue to push a debunked theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 presidential election.
Hill will tell lawmakers: “We are running out of time to stop them.”
The House committee is looking at whether Trump wrongly conditioned critical military aid for Ukraine on a public statement by their new president to look into the son of Trump’s potential Democratic rival Joe Biden and his ties to a Ukrainian gas company, as well as the 2016 elections.
A former National Security Council aide will tell the House impeachment hearing that one of the central Republican talking points - that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election - is a “fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services.”
In prepared testimony Thursday, Fiona Hill stressed that she is a “nonpartisan foreign policy expert” who has served Republican and Democratic administrations. She says the conclusion by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the election “is beyond dispute.”
Hill says the impact of the 2016 Russian campaign remains evident today. She says, “Our nation is being torn apart. Truth is questioned.”
Hill was a top aide to then-national security adviser John Bolton. She’s appearing before the House panel looking into President Donald Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democrats and rival Joe Biden.
Hill says, “I have no interest in advancing the outcome of your inquiry in any particular direction, except toward the truth.”
Trump denies doing anything wrong.
A former White House national security aide will tell lawmakers they should not let domestic politics get in the way of defending against “foreign powers who truly wish us harm.”
Fiona Hill is a former official on the National Security Council who’s testifying Thursday before a House committee in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Hill says in her prepared remarks that “if the president, or anyone else, impedes or subverts the national security of the United States in order to further domestic or political affairs,” it is worth the lawmakers’ attention.
Hill was an aide to former national security adviser John Bolton. She is testifying before a House panel looking into Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democrats and political rival Joe Biden.
Trump has denied doing anything wrong.
David Holmes, a political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, says he was having lunch with Ambassador Gordon Sondland this summer when he heard Trump on the phone asking the envoy about the investigations he wanted from the Ukranian president. The colorful exchange was like nothing he had ever seen, Holmes said in an earlier closed-door deposition.
The two witnesses set to appear Thursday are the last scheduled for public hearings.
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