“The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 2016,” Hill said in a prepared opening statement in the impeachment inquiry. “It is beyond dispute, even if some of the underlying details must remain classified.”
President Donald Trump has repeatedly disputed the U.S. intelligence community’s consensus that Russia interfered in the election to benefit Trump. The president’s Republican defenders have baselessly suggested in the impeachment hearings that Ukraine, not Russia, was behind the 2016 election interference.
Further, Trump has disregarded former special counsel Robert Mueller’s assessment that Russia is already meddling in the 2020 presidential election.
“The impact of the successful 2016 Russian campaign remains evident today,” Hill testified. “Our nation is being torn apart. Truth is questioned. Our highly professional and expert career foreign service is being undermined.”
She added that she refuses “to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternative narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary and that Ukraine ― not Russia ― attacked us in 2016.”
Hill served as the top official on Russian affairs at the National Security Council. She left the Trump administration in July.
Hill is testifying alongside David Holmes, the political counsel at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine and an aide to Bill Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.
Follow the hearing live here.
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