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Unread 2019-11-21, 11:56   #1
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aarkieboy
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Throughout the first week of the House of Representatives’ impeachment hearings, the witnesses, most of them serving career U.S. diplomats, have attempted agnosticism on the merits of impeaching President Trump and sidestep often rancorous Republican questioning. But the White House’s former top Russia official made it clear on Thursday that she wasn’t going to follow the same script.

Fiona Hill was the National Security Council senior director for Russia and Eurasia until days before the now-infamous July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Zelensky for the “favor” of investigating Trump’s domestic political rivals. After describing her “pride in being a nonpartisan” expert, Hill, now out of government, tacitly warned Republicans that their descent into conspiracy theory to save Trump’s presidency is damaging the country.

Hill tied the Ukraine pressure campaign back to the 2016 Russian interference that the pressure campaign was supposed to render murky. “The Russian interest is to delegitimize the entire presidency,” Hill testified, saying that whomever was elected in 2016 would be “under a cloud.” It aided Russian interests, she said, to “pit one side of the electorate against the other.”

Always an awkward fit within the Trump administration—Hill has been as distrustful of Vladmir Putin as Trump has been solicitous—Hill told the inquiry on Thursday that a “fictional narrative” about Ukranian electoral interference in 2016, repeatedly voiced during the hearings by ranking Republican Devin Nunes (R-CA), was an invention of the Russian security services. Even before Hill spoke, Nunes, who has his head so far up Trump's ass he'll probably never see the light of day again, attempted to preempt her criticism. (More)
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