I can’t believe I’m reading the transcript of this testimony, which occurred behind closed doors with House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. (I think members of two other committees were also present or allowed to attend.) I say, “I can’t believe,” because I didn’t have a strong interest in reading this. But I just took a peak and got hooked. (We’ll see how long the transcript holds my interest.) These are some notes as I read the transcript.
3 thoughts on “Notes on Fiona Hill’s testimony, October 14, 2019”
Note: The Democrats and Republicans have staff questioning Dr. Hill–Mr. Goldman and Mr. Castor, respectively– and I assume they’re lawyers.
I believe Parnas, Fruman, and Sergeant are business associates of Rudy Giuliani.
In the excerpt below, Hill speaks about her conversation with Amos Hochstein, who told her about his experience being on the board of Naftogaz. According to Hill, Hochstein was well-regarded in Energy Department and appointed on Naftogaz board by the Trump administration.
Just wanted to note the failure and incompetence with regard to national security matters. Those who thought Hillary Clinton should not be president because of national security failures should be interested in these details.
Prior to the following remarks, Hill describes a meeting between administration officials and Ukrainian representatives. She describes at some length, the strong desire for a White House meeting from foreign leaders, especially new ones. She also describes the reasons for this as well as noting that Ambassador John Bolton was very cautious about granting such a meeting to the Ukrainians.
Later Bolton and Hill overhear Sondland inviting Ukrainians to have more discussions in another room. Bolton tells Hill to go and find out what they’re talking about. This is part of what she heard when she went to the other room to hear what was being said:
Hill basically intervened at this point and said they’d have to have more discussions about a White House meeting. The Ukranians left at some point and she made this point again to Sondland, who, according to Hill, was “clearly annoyed.”
On the notion that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election
Starting on page 167 (and I end on 177), Mr. Castor begins a line of a questioning about a 2017 Politico article, which reports that the Ukrainian government interfered in the 2016 election by pushing out damaging information about Paul Manafort.
(Note: Sections in bold are added by me for emphasis.)
Castor begins a line of questioning relating to Ukrainians interfering in the 2016 election by putting damaging information about Paul Manafort, with Rep. Lee Zeldin (R) joining at some point. They are quite persistent in this, attempting to get Dr. Hill to say something to support this narrative. At one point Dr. Hill expresses, and her lawyer, Mr. Wolosky, express frustration):
(Note: After a little back and forth about previous directors handling Ukraine portfolio, Dr. Hill says the following:)