Fiona Hill, President Donald Trump’s former top Russia adviser on the National Security Council, and David Holmes, the counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, testified on Thursday before Congress.
Hill read a lengthy statement before the House Intelligence Committee, claiming that “U.S. support for Ukraine—which continues to face armed Russian aggression—has been politicized.”
“I say this not as an alarmist, but as a realist. I do not think long-term conflict with Russia is either desirable or inevitable. I continue to believe that we need to seek ways of stabilizing our relationship with Moscow even as we counter their efforts to harm us. Right now, Russia’s security services and their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 election,” she said.
David Holmes said that he believed that the United States withheld aid to Ukraine as a precondition for investigations into Ukrainian energy giant Burisma Holdings. He appeared to cite the U.S. Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, for his claim.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) also read an opening statement, saying that “in the coming days, Congress will determine what response is appropriate. If the President abused his power and invited foreign interference in our elections, if he sought to condition, coerce, extort, or bribe a vulnerable ally into conducting investigations to aid his reelection campaign and did so by withholding official acts.”
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking member on the committee, also called on Americans to consider the Democrats’ credibility in the impeachment inquiry.
“I once again urge Americans to consider the credibility of the Democrats on this committee who are now hurling these charges. For the last three years, it’s not President Trump who got caught, it’s the Democrats who got caught,” he said. “They got caught falsely claiming they had more than circumstantial evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians to hack the 2016 elections.”
He added: “They got caught orchestrating this entire farce with the Whistleblower and lying about their secret meetings with him.”