Trump impeachment inquiry: 'Kremlin is geared up to interfere in 2020 election'

22 November 2019, 11:18 | Updated: 22 November 2019, 14:11

Fiona Hill has been testifying to the Donald Trump impeachment inquiry
Fiona Hill has been testifying to the Donald Trump impeachment inquiry. Picture: PA
Maddie Goodfellow

By Maddie Goodfellow

Donald Trump's former top Russia advisor has told the impeachment inquiry that the Kremlin is "geared up" to interfere in the 2020 election.

Fiona Hill, former senior director for Europe and Russia at the National Security Council, said in the House on Thursday that the Republican party are "echoing Russian propaganda".

In her opening remarks, Ms Hill said: “I take great pride in the fact that I am a nonpartisan foreign policy expert.

“I have no interest in advancing the outcome of your inquiry in any particular direction, except toward the truth.”

In her prepared evidence, she criticised the "fictional narrative" being pushed by the Trump administration that Ukraine was involved in meddling in the 2016 election.

She then accused Republicans in the House of using the impeachment proceedings to promote "lies and falsehoods" about Ukrainian involvement, which she "refuses to be a part of".

Ms Hill said: "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.

"This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves. The unfortunate truth is that Russia was the foreign power that systematically attacked our democratic institutions in 2016."

She continued: "The impact of the successful 2016 Russian campaign remains evident today. Our nation is being torn apart."

Fiona Hill is speaking on the fifth day of the enquiry
Fiona Hill is speaking on the fifth day of the enquiry. Picture: PA

In her statement, she said: "Right now, Russia's security services and their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 election.

"We are running out of time to stop them.

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

Ms Hill also argued that it was “very clear” that US officials had made a White House meeting for the Ukrainian president in order to persuade him to carry out investigations into Joe Biden and his son.

“It became very clear the White House meeting itself was being predicated on other issues, namely investigations and the questions about the election interference in 2016,” she said.

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