WASHINGTON (NBC News) – Testifying on what could be the final day of witness testimony in the House impeachment inquiry, Fiona Hill, the former top Russia expert at the National Security Council, relayed her alarm over Rudy Giuliani’s role in Ukraine policy and his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate President Trump’s political rivals.
Hill described Giuliani as pushing Ukraine for an investigation into Burisma, the company whose board included Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son.
She also criticized the president’s defenders for promoting a false narrative that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.
“This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves,” Hill said.
Testifying alongside her was David Holmes, the diplomat who says he overheard a phone conversation where the president asked Ambassador Sondland if Ukraine was going to start the investigations he wanted.
After the call, Holmes asked Sondland whether the president cared about Ukraine.
“Ambassador Sondland stated the president only cares about big stuff. I noted there was big stuff going on in Ukraine, like a war with Russia, and Ambassador Sondland replied that he meant big stuff that benefits the president, like the Biden investigation that Mr. Guiliani was pushing,” Holmes testified.
The impeachment inquiry all started with an anonymous whistleblower’s complaint, turned over to Congress in early September, that Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country” in the 2020 US election in a series of events culminating in a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
With public hearings wrapping up, the House Intelligence Committee will send its findings to the House Judiciary Committee which will decide whether to draw up formal articles of impeachment against President Trump.