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  • Former senior director for Europe and Russia on the National Security Council Fiona Hill at the House Intelligence Committee in Washington, U.S., Nov. 21, 2019.

    Former senior director for Europe and Russia on the National Security Council Fiona Hill at the House Intelligence Committee in Washington, U.S., Nov. 21, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 November 2019

Fiona Hill testified before a House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump. 

At the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry session held on Thursday, President Donald Trump's former Russia Adviser Fiona Hill urged lawmakers not to promote the idea that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 presidential elections.

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“This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves,” said Hill, who until July served as National Security Council's director for European and Russian Affairs.

Some Republican members of the Democratic-led committee have advanced the discredited theory, which has been embraced by Trump and his political allies.

The idea that Ukraine interfered in the elections was one of the issues that Trump urged Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate in a phone call which is at the core of the impeachment effort.

“In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests,” Hill stated.

The prosecutors are also examining whether Trump’s withholding of US$391 million in security aid to Ukraine was meant to pressure Zelenskiy to conduct the probes.

Democrats sustain that this represents the president’s abusing of power to pressure a vulnerable U.S. ally to dig up dirt on a domestic political rival.

Although, Trump has denied wrongdoing, publicly criticized witnesses and described the impeachment proceedings as a “witch hunt.” His fellow Republicans call the proceedings a “sham.”​​​​​​​

With no more witnesses scheduled to appear, this hearing could mark the end of the investigation phase of the impeachment proceedings.

Once the committees running the inquiry agree the probe is complete, the evidence will go to the House Judiciary Committee, which will consider whether to draft formal charges or not.

Democratic lawmakers said that such a decision is unlikely to happen before Thanksgiving on Nov. 28.

If the full House then votes finally to impeach Trump, the charges will go to the Republican-controlled Senate for a trial on whether to remove him from office.

Few Republican senators, however, have broken with the president.​​​​​​​

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