After a grueling day of testimony Wednesday, Thursday brings us testimony from former National Security Council Russia expert Dr. Fiona Hill and foreign service officer David Holmes. Hill’s opening statement makes clear that this will be another day when Republicans take a beating from the facts, even though we’ve seen there’s no day of testimony so bad that they won’t try to declare victory.
Daily Kos will be following the proceedings all day.
Watch live:x YouTube Video Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:14:58 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
Fiona Hill begins reading from her relatively brief introductory document — which undermines 90% of what Devin Nunes has been pushing all week. Hill may describe her British accent as “working class,” but a lot of Americans probably hear it as “really damn charming.”Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:18:20 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
Devin Nunes pushing a copy of his half-assed report on Russian interference on Fiona Hill is the subject of today's Great Moments in Man-splaining.Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:22:32 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
Schiff opens his questioning by giving Hill a chance to elaborate on her concerns about the Russian efforts—successful efforts—to generate doubt in the United States. Differentiates the “individuals in many countries who had harsh words” for candidates from a state-run dedicated effort to generate “chaos.”Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:23:56 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner x
Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:26:33 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
Fiona Hill slams the "fictional narrative" that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 U.S. election, which some members of Congress appear to believe... pic.twitter.com/V23fEWNM2u— Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) November 21, 2019
Reports coming out of the closed-door testimony of Holmes indicated that Republicans were downcast. But at the time it seemed like he was only there to testify to the lunch he had with Sondland. Nope, Holmes’ testimony is a red-hot poker through the GOP defense of Trump.Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:27:12 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner x
Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:31:42 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner Republicans had better seriously hope that America has tuned out this morning, because Hill and Holmes are a devastating tag-team. Check those TV ratings, Devin. Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:32:42 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
Holmes: Ã¢Â€ÂœUpon reading the transcript, I was deeply disappointed to see that the President raised none of what I understood to be our interagency agreed-upon foreign policy priorities in Ukraine & instead raised the Biden/Burisma investigation and... Ukraine in the 2016 election.Ã¢Â€Â pic.twitter.com/2egEUlaQRg— House Foreign Affairs Committee (@HouseForeign) November 21, 2019
Holmes provides some feedback on how the Trump-Zelensky phone call was taken from the Ukrainian end; a perspective we haven’t heard before.Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:36:16 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
Holmes confirms his testimony that Trump asked Sondland about the investigations, and that Sondland assured Trump that Zelensky would do the investigations.
Holmes then follows up by testifying, as he did in his opening statement, that Sondland explicitly mentioned an investigation into the Bidens. Which should be the ball game, right there.Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:43:36 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
Holmes reveals that the embassy knew that Lutsenko knew was meeting with “an American journalist” (John Soloman? Ken Vogle?) to get out his claims weeks before the wave of articles promoted by Giuliani. Which suggests that journalist might have also had contact with the embassy … and ignored their cautions.Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:45:28 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
Hill makes it explicit that the “Crowdstrike” conspiracy theory in Trump’s phone call to Zelensky was exactly the hatched-in-Russia theory that she warned against being generated directly by the Russia security service.Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:48:11 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
Side note: the conspiracy theory which Hill has pointed out as being generated by the Russian security service explicitly for the purpose of driving a wedge between the U.S. and Ukraine, as well as creating internal political strife, is exactly the theory that William Barr has been supporting in his overseas travels and “investigation.”Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:55:54 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
Questioning of Hill includes a brief visit to Kashyap Patel, the Trumpster within the NSC who presented himself as a Ukraine expert despite no background, and who apparently served as a conduit to ferry information to Trump without following the NSC chain of command.Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:59:12 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
This has been an important day for destroying the Republican attempts to support the conspiracy theories Trump was pushing all along—interesting that on this same day the Republicans have employed a parliamentary maneuver in an effort to generate a hearing explicitly designed to bolster those same dis-proven conspiracy theories.Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 4:03:03 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
Hill describes the meeting in Bolton’s office, describing how Sondland’s attempt to extract an investigation from Ukraine exacerbated an already somewhat tense situation and brought on the end of the meeting. Hill says that in the later meeting Sondland explicitly made it clear that the investigation he wanted was into Burisma.
Hill then recounts that Bolton directly instructed her to go to NSC counsel John Eisenberg, and that he “didn’t want to be involved in this drug deal that Sondland and [Mick] Mulvaney were cooking up.”Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 4:04:03 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner x
Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 4:04:31 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
I want to grow up to be like Dr. Fiona Hill.— Sean Patrick Maloney (@RepSeanMaloney) November 21, 2019
On an early break to allow a House vote.Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 4:08:29 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
Something new in Hill’s testimony about Sondland’s statement to Ukrainian officials was that Sondland directly mentioned Mulvaney in saying that there would be a White House meeting when the investigations were launched. Which explains why Bolton later says that the “drug deal” is something being cooked up by Sondland and Mulvaney.
And just another reason why Mulvaney should be the owner of a subpoena.