The final day of impeachment hearings concludes

The final day of impeachment hearings concludes

By

Fiona Hill: On the last day of testimony this week, President Trump's former top adviser on Russia rejected the idea that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election to benefit Hillary Clinton, an idea that other witnesses say contributed to Trump's skeptical view of the country.

"Some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country — and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves," she said. "In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests."

She said she would not be part of an effort to paint Ukraine as an adversary. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has referred to the theory frequently when speaking this week.

She also testified that Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U., was "involved in a domestic political errand," that was at odds with her and her colleagues who were involved in national security foreign policy.

She said John Bolton made it very clear over the course of working together that he did not approve of what Sondland and the president's personal attorney Rudy Guiliani were trying to do.

David Holmes: The counselor for political affairs at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine testified it was "apparent" Guiliani had an influence on the Ukraine agenda. He also said top U.S. diplomat Bill Taylor told him about phone calls where it was "made clear that some action on a Burisma/Biden investigation was a precondition for an Oval Office meeting.” He also reaffirmed other accounts and said he became aware of a freeze on military aid to the country during a July 18 conference call when a White House staffer announced the hold, saying it was an order from the president. He said he had a clear impression over the next few months that the hold was intended "either as an expression of dissatisfaction that the Ukrainians had not yet agreed to the Burisma/Biden investigation or as an effort to increase the pressure on them to do so."

Thursday concluded this week's impeachment hearings and so far there isn't a schedule announced for next week. Stay tuned...

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