Key impeachment witness slams GOP for pushing a 'fictional narrative'

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Former National Security Council aide Fiona Hill slammed GOP lawmakers for pushing conspiracy theories about Ukraine.

A key witness in the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump took no prisoners in her opening statement, condemning GOP lawmakers who have pushed debunked conspiracy theories that it was Ukraine that meddled in the 2016 election.

"Based on questions and statements I have heard, 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," Fiona Hill, a former aide on the National Security Council, said in her statement. "This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves."

The accusation that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election in order to elect Hillary Clinton has been pushed by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), who has made that false claim in order to suggest that Trump was justified in distrusting the country.

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Hill said that conspiracies like that play directly into Russia's hands.

"As Republicans and Democrats have agreed for decades, Ukraine is a valued partner of the United States, and it plays an important role in our national security," Hill said in her opening statement. "And as I told this Committee last month, I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine — not Russia — attacked us in 2016."

Hill is an important witness in the impeachment inquiry into Trump.

During a closed-door deposition, Hill testified that former national security adviser John Bolton viewed the effort to withhold military aid to Ukraine in order to force the country to investigate Trump's political rivals was wrong.

It was her testimony that implicated White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland in the effort, which Democrats have described as attempted bribery and extortion.

When she told Bolton of the effort, Hill testified that, "Bolton asked me to go over and report this to our NSC counsel, to John Eisenberg. And he told me, and this is a direct quote from Ambassador Bolton: 'You go and tell Eisenberg that I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up on this, and you go and tell him what you've heard and what I've said.'"

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.