The star witness of Thursday’s public impeachment hearings was Dr. Fiona Hill, a former official with the National Security Council who is an expert on Russia and European affairs.
Democrats and the media initially seized on Hill’s testimony, particularly her prepared opening statement, as they believed it was a direct rebuke to what Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have been bringing up repeatedly: that Ukraine worked to interfere in the 2016 election on behalf of Democrats against then-candidate Donald Trump, a claim borne out by the facts as reported by Politico in January 2017.
House Democrats have long claimed that the Russians interfered in order to help Trump. Hill completely undermined their narrative that the interference was solely in support of the president.
Speaking about Russian attacks on America’s “democratic institutions” in 2016, Hill said that “the impact of the successful 2016 Russian campaign remains evident today. Our nation is being torn apart. Truth is questioned. Our highly professional and expert career foreign service is being undermined.”
She went on to explain that Russia’s primary goal was, and always has been, to weaken America on the global stage in order to protect its own interests. And then she dropped a bomb on the Democratic narrative by revealing that Russia doesn’t choose sides in that continuing effort but seeks to sabotage the U.S. with whatever opportunity is presented, no matter which Americans it may help or hurt.
“President Putin and the Russian security services operate like a Super PAC,” Hill said. “They deploy millions of dollars to weaponize our own political opposition research and false narratives.
“When we are consumed by partisan rancor, we cannot combat these external forces as they seek to divide us against each other, degrade our institutions, and destroy the faith of the American people in our democracy.”
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