Politics: Trump comes out swinging, but Fiona Hill fights back in dramatic impeachment finale - - PressFrom - US
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Politics Trump comes out swinging, but Fiona Hill fights back in dramatic impeachment finale

05:15  22 november  2019
05:15  22 november  2019 Source:   rollcall.com

House impeachment investigators release two more transcripts

  House impeachment investigators release two more transcripts House impeachment investigators on Monday released the transcripts of senior State Department official David Hale and David Holmes, the US diplomat in Ukraine who overheard President Donald Trump's phone conversation with US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); House Democrats released the two transcripts on Monday evening ahead of a full week of public testimony with nine officials appearing, including both Holmes and Hale.

Fiona Hill and David Holmes testify in Trump impeachment inquiry – watch live. Nunes is asking Hill about the dossier. Hill says she saw the Steele dossier at the Brookings Institution the day OK, Adam Schiff has come back to the hearing room and they’re about to resume for real this time.

Fiona Hill , President Trump 's former top adviser on Russia and Europe, will testify In Mr. Sondland’s telling during a private interview with impeachment investigators last month, Ms. Hill was “She comes from this realist tradition where you start with the proposition that this other actor is capable of

Video by The Wall Street Journal

Donald Trump came out swinging Thursday morning, but two witnesses who testified for hours in the impeachment inquiry pulled no punches as they overshadowed the president’s morning attacks.

Testimony by Fiona Hill, a former National Security Council Russia expert, and David Holmes, an official in the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, further undercut several contentions pushed by Trump, GOP lawmakers and the president’s surrogates. Hill, for instance, dismissed a conspiracy theory rejected by American intelligence agencies but espoused by Trump and other Republicans that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 U.S. election.

AP FACT CHECK: Trump, GOP claims on Ukraine corruption

  AP FACT CHECK: Trump, GOP claims on Ukraine corruption WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and his GOP allies pressed a defense Thursday that he acted appropriately in withholding military aid to Ukraine out of concern over the country’s corruption and claimed the House impeachment hearings amounted to a rogue process. The claims don’t match up with known facts. A look at some of the remarks on Day 5 of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry by the House Intelligence Committee and Trump’s response:CALIFORNIA REP. DEVIN NUNES, the top Republican on the committee: “President Trump had good reason to be wary of Ukrainian election meddling against his campaign.”THE FACTS: That’s not credible.

Long before Fiona Hill arrived to testify on Capitol Hill , there was a long line for public seats and a crackling sense of anticipation for one of the most important moments so far in the impeachment of Donald Trump . Hill had been the top Russia expert in the White House, a senior director of the

Fiona Hill , a former top Russia expert for the White House, and David Holmes, a Impeachment hearings live updates: Two more key witnesses to appear following dramatic day of President Trump speaks to reporters outside the White House on Wednesday about the impeachment inquiry.

The commander-in-chief seemed as fired up as he has been during the five public impeachment hearings, using words in tweets like “human scum” — long used by anti-Semites to insult Jews — to slam Democrats. Hill and Holmes were stoic, businesslike and detailed, offering a striking juxtaposition to the often-emotional and vague president.

Here are four takeaways as Trump watched Day 5 of the public hearings.

Slideshow by photo services

The call

For weeks, July 25 was the focus of Democrats’ inquiry. But on what might be the final two days of public hearings, July 26 became paramount.

[Teflon veep: Pence emerges largely unscathed as Sondland, Dems say he knew of quid pro quo]

That’s the day U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, while sitting on an outdoor terrace of a Kyiv cafe, decided to phone Trump on an unsecured line to discuss Ukraine, he and Holmes testified. The president asked about the investigations of Democrats that he a day earlier told Zelenskiy he would consider “a favor,” Sondland and Holmes said.

Holmes described the beginning of the lunch — which also included two unnamed U.S. diplomatic aides — as “social” and noted the ambassador “selected a bottle of wine that he shared among the four of us, and we discussed topics such as marketing strategies for his hotel business.”

Then Sondland called POTUS, who was talking loudly. Holmes appeared to put an end to what might be dubbed speakerphone-gate, which Trump set off with a morning tweet in which he tried dismissing Holmes’s deposition testimony that he could hear Trump from across the cafe table. The president admitted to attempting to eavesdrop on others’ phone calls, but failing to hear much.

“While Ambassador Sondland's phone was not on speakerphone, I could hear the president's voice through the earpiece of the phone,” Holmes said. “The president's voice was loud and recognizable, and Ambassador Sondland held the phone away from his ear for a period of time, presumably because of the loud volume.”

The embassy official expressed concern about Sondland’s brashness and skirting of any semblance of security protocol.

Trump says Ukraine envoy Yovanovitch wouldn't hang his picture. Fact check: There was no official portrait for most of 2017.

  Trump says Ukraine envoy Yovanovitch wouldn't hang his picture. Fact check: There was no official portrait for most of 2017. Trump says Ukraine envoy Yovanovitch wouldn't hang his picture. Fact check: There was no official portrait for most of 2017.

Are the Trump impeachment hearings not "explosive," " dramatic ," or "interesting" enough for you? That should have changed on Thursday with the coolly Despite her best efforts, Hill reportedly said in closed-door testimony in October that her time in the Trump administration ended up being "my worst

“So this was a very distinctive experience,” Holmes said. “I've never seen anything like this in my foreign service career of someone at a lunch in a restaurant making a call on a cell phone to the president of the United States.”

a person looking at the camera: Fiona Hill, a former National Security Council Russia adviser, testifies before the House Intelligence Committee during a hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call) © Provided by CQ Roll Call, Inc. Fiona Hill, a former National Security Council Russia adviser, testifies before the House Intelligence Committee during a hearing on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call) The ‘drug deal’

Hill worked for John Bolton, the former White House national security adviser Trump fired earlier this year. Several witnesses have described the hawkish conservative as the one who first dubbed the idea of pressing Ukrainian officials to trade a White House meeting and a $400 million military aid package for them announcing Trump’s desired investigations as a “drug deal.”

[Fiona Hill chides Republicans for peddling ‘fictions’ on Ukraine, Russia]

Hill expressed surprise when Sondland informed her he had, in her words, “an agreement with Chief of Staff [Mick] Mulvaney that, in return for investigations, this meeting would get scheduled.”

Meantime, also pushing for the investigations was Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Hill testified Bolton felt powerless to stop this aspect of the so-called “drug deal.”

“I had asked if there was anything that we could do about it. And Ambassador Bolton had looked pained, basically indicated with body language that there was nothing which we could do about it,” she said. “And he then, in the course of that discussion, said that Rudy Giuliani was a hand grenade that was going to blow everyone up.”

Asked if she took her concerns about what Mulvaney and Sondland were, in her words, “cooking up,” the British-born Hill responded: “I certainly did.”

The presidential explosion

Trump continued his evolution, which started last week with him and his West Wing aides describing him as “too busy” to watch the hearings.

On Thursday, he was his own communications director and rapid response team — and again appeared to be watching.

The president fired off a slew of morning tweets that included calling Schiff and House Democrats “human scum.” He also appeared to mock House Democrats over the GOP Senate majority — which has yet to break with him ahead of a possible post-impeachment trial — writing: “They will soon be on our turf.”

The bottom line

But after hours and hours of testimony, not a single GOP senator has announced being swayed enough to vote for Trump’s removal in a possible Senate trial.

“This has been the warm-up act,” GOP Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah said Thursday. “We’re going to send this along to the U.S. Senate. And that’s the good news. ... I look forward to them completing the job we could have done here.”

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Trump says Ukraine envoy Yovanovitch wouldn't hang his picture. Fact check: There was no official portrait for most of 2017. .
Trump says Ukraine envoy Yovanovitch wouldn't hang his picture. Fact check: There was no official portrait for most of 2017.

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