Today’s impeachment testimony will feature Fiona Hill, who served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs on Donald Trump’s National Security Council staff. Advance copies of Hill’s testimony obtained by NBC News and Axios suggest that Hill will attack the Trump Administration for following a “fictional narrative… perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves” that Ukraine was the source of the election interference in 2016 rather than Russia itself.
In her opening statement, Hill warns that “the unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 2016,” a fact that she calls “beyond dispute.” She further warns, “Russia’s security services and their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 election.”
In strong terms, Hill rejects the Republican claims that Ukraine is a US adversary, saying, “These fictions are harmful even if they are deployed purely for domestic political purposes.”
“If the president, or anyone else, impedes or subverts the national security of the United States in order to further domestic political or personal interests, that is more than worthy of your attention,” Hill writes in her opening statement. “But we must not let domestic politics stop us from defending ourselves against foreign powers who truly wish us harm.”
Hill, who was born in England, calls herself a nonpartisan analyst who has served under three Republican and Democratic presidents. Logical Republican points of attack will be to question her patriotism as a foreign-born immigrant and to call her a “Never Trumper.”
She resigned her position on the NSC in August 2019 in the midst of the internal debate over the military aid to Ukraine. There will doubtless be questions about her decision to leave when she did.
Hill’s testimony will likely focus on the national security implications of the president’s decision to pursue Ukrainian conspiracy theories and take his eye off of the Russians. The president’s actions drove a wedge between the US and Ukraine, an ally actively defending itself against a Russian invasion, and are leaving the United States open to further Russian attacks on our elections.