Schiff, Nunes spar in last scheduled public hearing

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on November 21, 2019 - Duration: 02:14s

Schiff, Nunes spar in last scheduled public hearing

The head of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, and the top Republican on the committee, Devin Nunes, gave their opening remarks during the fifth and last scheduled day of public hearings.

Schiff, Nunes spar in last scheduled public hearing

President Donald Trump's former Russia adviser Fiona Hill urged lawmakers in the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry on Thursday, not to promote "politically driven falsehoods" that cast doubt on Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

In her prepared testimony, Hill said some members of the House Intelligence Committee, based on their questions and statements, appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against the United States during the 2016 presidential race and that perhaps Ukraine did.

Hill appeared to be referring to some of President Donald Trump's Republican allies and defenders on the committee in the impeachment inquiry, currently focusing on his actions toward Ukraine.

"This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves," said Hill, who until July served as the director for European and Russian affairs at the White House National Security Council.

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

Some Republican members of the committee have advanced a discredited conspiracy theory, embraced by Trump and some of his allies in Congress and the conservative media, that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the last presidential election.

Thursday's hearing marks the fifth and last scheduled day of public hearings by the Democratic-led House Intelligence Committee.

The inquiry is focused on Trump's June 25 telephone request that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender in the field of Democrats seeking to challenge Trump in the 2020 election.

Trump also asked Zelenskiy to investigate the debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.

Lawmakers also will question David Holmes, a staffer from the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, as they seek to learn more about a July 26 phone call in which he says he overheard Trump ask about the status of the investigation.

In his opening statement, Holmes said his work at the embassy started to become overshadowed in March 2019 by the work of Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who was pushing Ukraine to carry out the two probes.

"I became aware that Mr. Giuliani, a private lawyer, was taking a direct role in Ukrainian diplomacy," Holmes said.

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